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Democracy in America?

Author : Benjamin I. Page
Publisher : University of Chicago Press
Page : 400 pages
File Size : 39,23 MB
Release : 2020-04-02
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 022672994X

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“Important and riveting . . . The solution isn’t to redistribute wealth from the have-mores to the have-lesses. It’s to redistribute political power to everyone.” —Robert B. Reich America faces daunting problems—stagnant wages, high health care costs, neglected schools, deteriorating public services. How did we get here? Through decades of dysfunctional government. In Democracy in America? veteran political observers Benjamin I. Page and Martin Gilens marshal an unprecedented array of evidence to show that while other countries have responded to a rapidly changing economy by helping people who’ve been left behind, the United States has failed to do so. Instead, we have actually exacerbated inequality, enriching corporations and the wealthy while leaving ordinary citizens to fend for themselves. What’s the solution? More democracy. More opportunities for citizens to shape what their government does. To repair our democracy, Page and Gilens argue, we must change the way we choose candidates and conduct our elections, reform our governing institutions, and curb the power of money in politics. By doing so, we can reduce polarization and gridlock, address pressing challenges, and enact policies that truly reflect the interests of average Americans. Updated with new information, this book lays out a set of proposals that would boost citizen participation, curb the power of money, and democratize the House and Senate. “Brilliant, indispensable, and highly accessible.” —New York Journal of Books

Democracy in America

Author : Alexis de Tocqueville
Publisher : Macmillan Higher Education
Page : 208 pages
File Size : 31,26 MB
Release : 2008-08-08
Category : History
ISBN : 1319242553

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This new edition of Democracy in America makes Tocqueville’s classic nineteenth-century study of American politics, society, and culture available — finally! — in a brief and accessible version. Designed for instructors who are eager to teach the work but reluctant to assign all 700 plus pages, Kammen’s careful abridgment features the most well-known chapters that by scholarly consensus are most representative of Tocqueville’s thinking on a wide variety of issues. A comprehensive introduction provides historical and intellectual background, traces the author’s journey in America, helps students unpack the meaning behind key Tocquevillian concepts like "individualism," "equality," and "tyranny of the majority," and discusses the work’s reception and legacy. Newly translated, this edition offers instructors a convenient and affordable option for exploring this essential work with their students. Useful pedagogic features include a chronology, questions for consideration, a selected bibliography, illustrations, and an index.

The Chicago Companion to Tocqueville's Democracy in America

Author : James T. Schleifer
Publisher : University of Chicago Press
Page : 213 pages
File Size : 25,69 MB
Release : 2012-04-02
Category : History
ISBN : 0226737055

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One of the greatest books ever to be written on the United States, Democracy in America continues to find new readers who marvel at the lasting insights Alexis de Tocqueville had into our nation and its political culture. The work is, however, as challenging as it is important; its arguments can be complex and subtle, and its sheer length can make it difficult for any reader, especially one coming to it for the first time, to grasp Tocqueville’s meaning. The Chicago Companion to Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” is the first book written expressly to help general readers and students alike get the most out of this seminal work. Now James T. Schleifer, an expert on Tocqueville, has provided the background and information readers need in order to understand Tocqueville’s masterwork. In clear and engaging prose, Schleifer explains why Democracy in America is so important, how it came to be written, and how different generations of Americans have interpreted it since its publication. He also presents indispensable insight on who Tocqueville was, his trip to America, and what he meant by equality, democracy, and liberty. Drawing upon his intimate knowledge of Tocqueville’s papers and manuscripts, Schleifer reveals how Tocqueville’s ideas took shape and changed even in the course of writing the book. At the same time, Schleifer provides a detailed glossary of key terms and key passages, all accompanied by generous citations to the relevant pages in the University of Chicago Press Mansfield/Winthrop translation. TheChicago Companion will serve generations of readers as an essential guide to both the man and his work.

Democracy In America

Author : Alexis De Tocqueville
Publisher : Independently Published
Page : 596 pages
File Size : 47,93 MB
Release : 2020-11-08
Category :
ISBN :

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The Americans live in a democratic state of society, which has naturally suggested to them certain laws and a certain political character. This same state of society has, moreover, engendered amongst them a multitude of feelings and opinions which were unknown amongst the elder aristocratic communities of Europe: it has destroyed or modified all the relations which before existed, and established others of a novel kind. The-aspect of civil society has been no less affected by these changes than that of the political world. The former subject has been treated of in the work on the Democracy of America, which I published five years ago; to examine the latter is the object of the present book; but these two parts complete each other, and form one and the same work.

John Tincroft, Bachelor and Benedict: Without Intending it

Author : George E. Sargent
Publisher : Library of Alexandria
Page : 490 pages
File Size : 36,79 MB
Release : 2020-09-28
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 1613104995

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SO many years ago that those who are old now were young then, and so few years ago that deeds then transacted are fresh in the memory of many who are living now, John Tincroft, an undergraduate of Oxford, was invited to spend the long vacation with a college friend. And the invitation came very opportunely, John thought. For one reason, he had no home of his own. His parents had been long dead, and a distant relative—a London merchant—who had charge of his orphanhood, was not particularly, certainly not passionately, fond of him. This gentleman took care to explain, however, to all whom it might concern, that he had always done his duty towards the lad. But, as regards this duty, whatever else it might include, it possibly had not occurred to Mr. Rackstraw that the providing a happy home should have formed a component part of it. In the next place, John Tincroft was comparatively poor, and he was becoming poorer. His patrimony, a small one at first, had been woefully diminished by his three years' term-keeping, and still more so by carrying on a Chancery suit; that is, by paying his lawyer to carry it on for him. He was not in debt, however, which was something in his favour—or perhaps in his disfavour with college tradesmen. But he was much nearer the bottom of his purse than he cared to be, when the offer of a three months' residence in a hospitable home was placed before him. He had only one or two more terms to keep, and he wisely thought that he could not employ this last long vacation better than in reading with young Grigson (if he would be read with) as was proposed. So the invitation was accepted. In another year, Tincroft would be far-away from England. He was going to India in the Civil Service. This much his guardian, who had no sons of his own to step into the appointment, had done for him, without much cost or trouble to himself. "It will be the making of you, if you mind what you are about John," said Mr. Rackstraw; "and as to that plaguey Chancery suit and the Tincroft estate, it isn't worth your while staying in England to be the winner—or the loser, which is the more likely of the two." He did not add audibly, "And I shall be well rid of you into the bargain," though probably, he thought it within himself. John Tincroft had already commenced making preparations in a small way for his expatriation, as well as for his future duties; that is, he had plunged head foremost into certain Oriental histories, under a misty idea that they would be useful to him when he got to Calcutta.

Democracy in America (Complete)

Author : Alexis de Tocqueville
Publisher : Library of Alexandria
Page : 1320 pages
File Size : 33,67 MB
Release : 2020-09-28
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 1613105002

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Amongst the novel objects that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of conditions. I readily discovered the prodigious influence which this primary fact exercises on the whole course of society, by giving a certain direction to public opinion, and a certain tenor to the laws; by imparting new maxims to the governing powers, and peculiar habits to the governed. I speedily perceived that the influence of this fact extends far beyond the political character and the laws of the country, and that it has no less empire over civil society than over the Government; it creates opinions, engenders sentiments, suggests the ordinary practices of life, and modifies whatever it does not produce. The more I advanced in the study of American society, the more I perceived that the equality of conditions is the fundamental fact from which all others seem to be derived, and the central point at which all my observations constantly terminated. I then turned my thoughts to our own hemisphere, where I imagined that I discerned something analogous to the spectacle which the New World presented to me. I observed that the equality of conditions is daily progressing towards those extreme limits which it seems to have reached in the United States, and that the democracy which governs the American communities appears to be rapidly rising into power in Europe. I hence conceived the idea of the book which is now before the reader. It is evident to all alike that a great democratic revolution is going on amongst us; but there are two opinions as to its nature and consequences. To some it appears to be a novel accident, which as such may still be checked; to others it seems irresistible, because it is the most uniform, the most ancient, and the most permanent tendency which is to be found in history. Let us recollect the situation of France seven hundred years ago, when the territory was divided amongst a small number of families, who were the owners of the soil and the rulers of the inhabitants; the right of governing descended with the family inheritance from generation to generation; force was the only means by which man could act on man, and landed property was the sole source of power. Soon, however, the political power of the clergy was founded, and began to exert itself: the clergy opened its ranks to all classes, to the poor and the rich, the villein and the lord; equality penetrated into the Government through the Church, and the being who as a serf must have vegetated in perpetual bondage took his place as a priest in the midst of nobles, and not infrequently above the heads of kings. The different relations of men became more complicated and more numerous as society gradually became more stable and more civilized. Thence the want of civil laws was felt; and the order of legal functionaries soon rose from the obscurity of the tribunals and their dusty chambers, to appear at the court of the monarch, by the side of the feudal barons in their ermine and their mail. Whilst the kings were ruining themselves by their great enterprises, and the nobles exhausting their resources by private wars, the lower orders were enriching themselves by commerce. The influence of money began to be perceptible in State affairs. The transactions of business opened a new road to power, and the financier rose to a station of political influence in which he was at once flattered and despised. Gradually the spread of mental acquirements, and the increasing taste for literature and art, opened chances of success to talent; science became a means of government, intelligence led to social power, and the man of letters took a part in the affairs of the State. The value attached to the privileges of birth decreased in the exact proportion in which new paths were struck out to advancement. In the eleventh century nobility was beyond all price; in the thirteenth it might be purchased; it was conferred for the first time in 1270; and equality was thus introduced into the Government by the aristocracy itself.

The Making of Tocqueville's Democracy in America

Author : James T. Schleifer
Publisher :
Page : 411 pages
File Size : 47,21 MB
Release : 2000
Category : Philosophy
ISBN : 9780865972049

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It is impossible fully to understand the American experience apart from Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. Moreover, it is impossible fully to appreciate Tocqueville by assuming that he brought to his visitation to America, or to the writing of his great work, a fixed philosophical doctrine. James T. Schleifer documents where, when, and under what influences Tocqueville wrote different sections of his work. In doing so, Schleifer discloses the mental processes through which Tocqueville passed in reflecting on his experiences in America and transforming these reflections into the most original and revealing book ever written about Americans. For the first time the evolution of a number of Tocqueville's central themes--democracy, individualism, centralization, despotism--emerges into clear relief. As Russell B. Nye has observed, "Schleifer's study is a model of intellectual history, an account of the intertwining of a man, a set of ideas, and the final product, a book." The Liberty Fund second edition includes a new preface by the author and an epilogue, "The Problem of the Two Democracies." James T. Schleifer is Professor of History and Director of the Gill Library at the College of New Rochelle

People of Paradox

Author : Michael Kammen
Publisher : Knopf
Page : 316 pages
File Size : 44,72 MB
Release : 2012-10-03
Category : History
ISBN : 0307827704

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In this major interpretive work Mr. Kammen argues that most attempt to understand America’s history and culture have minimized its complexity, and he demonstrates that, from our beginnings, what has given our culture its distinctive texture, pattern, and thrust is the dynamic interaction of the imported and the indigenous. He shows now, during the years of colonization, especially in the century from 1660 to 1760, many ideas and institutions were transferred virtually unchanged from Britain, while, simultaneously, others were being transformed in the New World environment. As he unravels the tangled origins of our “bittersweet” culture, Mr. Kammen makes us see that unresolved contradictions in the American experience have functioned as the prime characteristic of our national style. Puritanical and hedonistic, idealistic and materialistic, peace-loving and war-mongering, isolationist and interventionist, consensus-minded and conflict-prone—these opposing strands go back to the roots of our history. He pursues them down through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries—from the traumas of colonization and settlement through the tensions of the American Revolution—making clear both the relevance of this early experience to ninetieth and twentieth-century realities and the way in which America’ dualisms have endured and accumulated to produced such dilemmas as today’s poverty amidst abundance and legitimized lawlessness. Far from being a study in social pathology, People of Paradox is a depiction of a complex society and am explanations of its development—a bold interpretation that gives an entirely new perceptive to the American ethos.

Tocqueville's Discovery of America

Author : Leo Damrosch
Publisher : Macmillan + ORM
Page : 303 pages
File Size : 15,41 MB
Release : 2010-04-07
Category : History
ISBN : 1429945737

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Alexis de Tocqueville is more quoted than read; commentators across the political spectrum invoke him as an oracle who defined America and its democracy for all times. But in fact his masterpiece, Democracy in America, was the product of a young man's open-minded experience of America at a time of rapid change. In Tocqueville's Discovery of America, the prizewinning biographer Leo Damrosch retraces Tocqueville's nine-month journey through the young nation in 1831–1832, illuminating how his enduring ideas were born of imaginative interchange with America and Americans, and painting a vivid picture of Jacksonian America. Damrosch shows that Tocqueville found much to admire in the dynamism of American society and in its egalitarian ideals. But he was offended by the ethos of grasping materialism and was convinced that the institution of slavery was bound to give rise to a tragic civil war. Drawing on documents and letters that have never before appeared in English, as well as on a wide range of scholarship, Tocqueville's Discovery of America brings the man, his ideas, and his world to startling life.

Democracy in America (Volumes 1 and 2, Unabridged) [translated by Henry Reeve with an Introduction by John Bigelow]

Author : Alexis De Tocqueville
Publisher : Digireads.com
Page : 690 pages
File Size : 35,98 MB
Release : 2016-09
Category : History
ISBN : 9781420954128

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In 1831, the then twenty-seven year old Alexis de Tocqueville, was sent with Gustave de Beaumont to America by the French Government to study and make a report on the American prison system. Over a period of nine months the two traveled all over America making notes not only on the prison systems but on all aspects of American society and government. From these notes Tocqueville wrote "Democracy in America," an exhaustive analysis of the successes and failures of the American form of government, a republican representative democracy. Tocqueville believed that over the past seven hundred years the social and economic conditions of humanity were progressively becoming more equal. The future was, in his opinion, inevitably drawing humanity towards the democratic ideal thus diminishing the power of the aristocracy. Tocqueville's predictions of the changing nature of human civilization seem almost clairvoyant in retrospect. First published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840, "Democracy in America" remains one of the most important historical documents of America and political analysis of its form of government. This edition is printed on premium acid-free paper, includes both unabridged volumes as translated by Henry Reeve, and an introduction by John Bigelow.