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Democracy in America - Volume 1

Alexis de Tocqueville

Book Overview: 

When Alexis de Tocqueville visited America in the 1830s he found a thriving democracy of a kind he had not seen anywhere else. Many of his insightful observations American society and political system, found in the two volume book he published after his visit, still remain surprisingly relevant today.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .;and misunderstood by several modern nations, is at length become an axiom in the political science of the present age.

[See Benjamin Franklin]

The Executive Power Of The State

Office of Governor in an American State—The place he occupies in relation to the Legislature—His rights and his duties—His dependence on the people.

The executive power of the State may with truth be said to be represented by the Governor, although he enjoys but a portion of its rights. The supreme magistrate, under the title of Governor, is the official moderator and counsellor of the legislature. He is armed with a veto or suspensive power, which allows him to stop, or at least to retard, its movements at pleasure. He lays the wants of the country before the legislative body, and points out the means which he thinks may be usefully employed in providing for them; he is the natural executor of its decrees in all the undertakings which . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I'm going with 4 stars here, it isn't always the easiest book to read, but worth it. There is a lot of wisdom in this book, a lot of insight. While history hasn't borne out all his predictions, there have been enough. Sadly also, it looks as though more of the things he said may still prove to be tr

I struggle to penetrate God’s point of view, from which vantage point I try to observe and judge human affairs.

A few months ago, bored at work and with no other obligations to tie me to New York, I decided that I would look into employment in Europe; and now, several months and an irksome visa p

I don’t mind admitting that Alexis de Toqueville’s
Democracy in America
is quite possible the most demanding piece of exposition I’ve read since Hegel’s
Phenomenology of Mind.
I suspect it’s one of those books — analogous, if you will, to Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Melville’s Moby Dick, Proust’

‭De la democratie en Amerique = On Democracy in America = Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville
De La Démocratie en Amérique published in two volumes, the first in 1835 and the second in 1840) is a classic French text by Alexis de Tocqueville. Its title translates as On Democracy in America, bu

Update: My brother just told me that Kurt Vonnegut says that anyone who hasn't read Democracy in America is a wimp. So I guess that makes me almost not a wimp. Well!

Post from a few weeks ago: I've been wanting to read de Toqueville's, Democracy in America for some time, and I've finally bit the bul

How does one review a 900+ page work (4 vols) that combines observations, history & essays published between 1835 and 1838. He spent nine months in the U.S in 1831 & 1832. He wrote in paradoxes, had some incredible insights and some out and out misses about Americans, American life and what the futu

It amazed me that my country, the USA, was looked on as a democracy worth emulating within its first half century of existence. Though some see Democracy in America as a recounting of travels, and others see it a deconstruction of a foreign country, I think I am with a fair number of others who cons

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