Alexis de Tocqueville is famous for writing one of the most important works on American institutions and culture ever written – Democracy in America. The work has been celebrated by Americans since the two volume work appeared in 1840. But what does Tocqueville mean when he uses terms like “equality,” “democracy,” and “liberty”? This lecture will consider the life and times of Alexis de Tocqueville, as well as what he meant when he talked of American democracy. We will also explore the ways in which Tocqueville’s observations and prescriptions remain eminently useful to us today, nearly 180 years after he completed his classic work.