More than 175 years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French nobleman and an astute political scientist, came to the United States to evaluate the meaning and actual functioning of democracy. Democracy in America is the classic treatise on the American way of life that he wrote as a result of his visit.
Tocqueville discusses the advantages and dangers of majority rule, which he thought could be as tyrannical as the rule of a monarchy. He analyzes the influence of political parties and the press on the government and the effect of equality on the social, political, and economic way of life of the American people. He also offers some startling predictions about world politics, which history has borne out. So brilliant and penetrating are his comments and criticisms, the have vital meaning today for all who are interested in democracy.
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