Alexis de Tocqueville by Joseph Epstein
Democracy's Guide (Eminent Lives)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

Alexis de Tocqueville was among the first foreigners to recognize and trumpet the grandness of the American project. His two-volume classic, Democracy in America, published in 1835, not only offered a vivid account of what was then a new nation but famously predicted what that nation would become. His startling prescience, as well as the endurance of his political ideas, has firmly established Tocqueville's place in American history; his chronicle of our infancy is a fixture on every American history syllabus. Nearly all of his clairvoyant predictions about American political life, from the influence of Evangelical Christianity to the advent of our "consumer society," have come true—and on the schedule he set.

Yet in his own time, Tocqueville had little evidence for the truth of his ideas. Introspective, sickly, prone to self-doubt, he was an unlikely visionary. Joseph Epstein, America's most versatile essayist, proves an ideal guide to his predecessor. In wry, elegant prose, he engages Tocqueville's intellectual contributions, illuminates the development of his thought, and provides a referendum on his various prophecies. (His record was far from perfect—he thought the federal government would wither away as the states rose in power.) Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy's Guide is an altogether human portrait of the Frenchman who would become an American icon.

 

About Joseph Epstein

See more books from this Author
Joseph Epstein is a long time resident of Chicago. Joseph Epstein has taught English and writing atNorthwestern for many years. He is the author of 22 books, many of them collections of essays, andhas also written for numerous magazines including the New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Commentary.
 
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 224 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Alexis de Tocqueville

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

A democratic people, Tocqueville noted, would always find two things difficult: “to start a war and to finish it.” Were despotism to gain a foothold in democratic nations, he remarked, “it would be more extensive and more mild, and it would degrade men without tormenting them.” Expressed in lucid...

| Read Full Review of Alexis de Tocqueville: Democr...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859), whose Democracy in America is more quoted than read, is the subject of the latest installment in the excellent Eminent L

Oct 09 2006 | Read Full Review of Alexis de Tocqueville: Democr...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

... Review: 'The Heart' Offers Portraits in the Race to an Organ. .... Alexis de
Tocqueville Books by Hugh Brogan and Joseph Epstein - Books - Review ... As
André Jardin, Tocqueville's excellent biographer, writes: "In the various ...

Jul 08 2007 | Read Full Review of Alexis de Tocqueville: Democr...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859), whose Democracy in America is more quoted than read, is the subject of the latest installment in the excellent Eminent Lives series.

Oct 09 2006 | Read Full Review of Alexis de Tocqueville: Democr...

Reader Rating for Alexis de Tocqueville
82%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 9 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×