Democracy in America De la Démocratie en Amérique
Bilingual Editon, Volume 2
Автор(и) : Alexis de Tocqueville
Издател : Liberty Fund, Inc.
Място на издаване : Indianapolis, USA
Година на издаване : 2010
ISBN : 978-0-86597-721-1 CL (vol. 2)
Брой страници : 689
Език : английски
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In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville and his friend Gustave de Beaumont visited the United States on behalf of the French government to study American prisons. In their nine months in the U.S. they studied not just the prison system but every aspect of American life, public and private—the political, economic, religious, cultural, and above all social life of the young nation. From Tocqueville's copious notes of what he had seen and heard came the classic text De la Démocratie en Amérique, published in two large volumes, the first in 1835, the second in 1840. The first volume focused primarily on political society; the second, on civil society. Tocqueville's account of the travels and adventures of the two Frenchmen aimed to get down the truth about America, not only to praise the new country's strengths but also to critique its shortcomings when these were all too evident to outside eyes.
The Liberty Fund bilingual Democracy in America includes Eduardo Nolla's historical-critical edition of the French text and notes on the lefthand pages and James Schleifer's English translation on the right. This is the fullest historical-critical edition of the Democracy, and the notes offer an extensive selection of early outlines, drafts, manuscript variants, marginalia, unpublished fragments, and other materials. From the foreword to the French edition: “This new Democracy is not only the one that Tocqueville presented to the reader of 1835, then to the reader of 1840. It is enlarged, amplified by a body of texts. . . . the reader will see how Tocqueville proceeded with the elaboration of the main ideas of his book.”
"Of the Government of Democracy in America
I know that I am walking here on fiery ground. Each of the words of this chapter must in some respects offend the different parties dividing my country. I will, nonetheless, express my whole thought.
In Europe, we have difficulty judging the true character and permanent instincts of democracy, because in Europe there is a struggle between two opposite principles. And we do not know precisely what should be attributed to the principles themselves or to the passions that the conflict has produced.
It is not the same in America. There, the people dominate without obstacles; there are no dangers to fear or wrongs to revenge.
So, in America, democracy is given over to its own inclinations. Its pace is natural, and all its movements are free. That is where it must be judged. And for whom would this study be interesting and profitable, if not for us, who are dragged along each day by an irresistible movement and who march blindly, perhaps toward despotism, perhaps toward the republic, but definitely toward a democratic social state?"
Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859) was a French writer and politician. With his friend Gustave Beaumont he spent nine months in America and with him published a study of the American penal system and its applicability to France. Tocqueville's fame was established by his De la Démocratie en Amérique, published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840. He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1839, was a member of the Constituent Assembly in 1848 and of the Legislative Assembly in 1849, was minister of foreign affairs in 1849, and was imprisoned in 1851 for his opposition to the coup d’état of Louis-Napoléon. At his death he had completed volume 1 of his L’Ancien Régime et la Révolution (1856).