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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $15.5
  • August 2007
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92986-7
  • 5.7 × 9.2 in / 896 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Democracy in America


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Alexis de Tocqueville (Author), Henry Reeves (Translator), Isaac Kramnick (Editor, Cornell University)


The Norton Critical Edition presents Tocqueville’s classic text in the Henry Reeves translation.

It is accompanied by detailed explanatory annotations and an introduction addressing Democracy in America’s canonic and iconic place in American life. “Backgrounds” includes seven letters offering Tocqueville’s impressions of his nine-and-a-half month journey through the United States. Nine contemporary reviews, both American and European, trace Democracy in America’s varied initial reception. Thirteen “Interpretations” gauge Tocqueville’s influence on American political thought and on democracy’s legacy. Contributors include David Riesman, Max Lerner, Robert Nisbet, James T. Schleifer, Catherine Zuckert, Sheldon S. Wolin, Edward C. Banfield, Daniel T. Rodgers, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Sean Wilentz, Henry Steele Commager, James T. Kloppenberg, and Tamara M. Teale.



    A Note on the Text

    The Text of Democracy in America



    1. To Ernest de Chabrol, New York, June 9, 1831
    2. To M. Louis de Kergolay, Yonkers, June 20, 1831
    3. To Ernest de Chabrol, Hartford, October 7, 1831
    4. To the Countess de Tocqueville, On the Mississippi, December 25, 1831
    5. To Eugene Stoffels, Paris, February 21, 1835
    6. To Henry Reeve, Paris, March 22, 1837
    7. To John Quincy Adams, Paris, December 4, 1837


    1. Sainte-Beuve * Le Temps, Paris, April 1835
    2. Pellegrino Rossi * Revue des deux mondes, July-September 1840
    3. John C. Spencer * Preface to the 1838 American Edition of Democracy in America
    4. John C.Spencer * Preface to the 1840 American Edition of Democracy in America
    5. The North American Review, July 1836
    6. The United States Democratic Review, October 1837
    7. The Knickerbocker: or The New York Monthly Magazine, September 1838
    8. John Stuart Mill * London Review, October 1835
    9. John Stuart Mill * Edinburgh Review, October 1840


    1. David Riesman * Tocqueville as Enthnographer
    2. Max Lerner * Tocqueville and American Civilization
    3. Robert Nisbet * Many Tocquevilles
    4. James T. Schleifer * From Egoism to Individualism
    5. Catherine Zuckert * Not by Preaching: Tocqueville on the Role of Religion in American Democracy
    6. Sheldon S. Wolin * Archaism and Modernity
    7. Edward C. Banfield * The Illiberal Tocqueville
    8. Daniel T. Rodgers * Of Prophets and Prophecy
    9. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. * Individualism and Apathy in Tocqueville’s Democracy
    10. Sean Wilentz * Many Democracies: On Tocqueville and Jacksonian America
    11. Henry Steele Commanger * Democracy and the Tyranny of the Majority
    12. James T. Kloppenberg * Life Everlastin: Tocqueville in America
    13. Tamara M. Teale * Tocqueville and American Legal Studies: The Paradox of Liberty and Destruction

    Selected Bibliography