Alexis de Tocqueville is the author of arguably the most important study of American institutions and customs--Democracy in America. Who was Alexis de Tocqueville? Why did he visit America? When did he visit America, and what was going on here during his visit? What were his main arguments, and is his book still useful today? We often hear Tocqueville cited, but what is the backstory on Tocqueville and his book? In this lecture, we will do some background work on Tocqueville in an effort to more fully grasp and appreciate the significance of this important figure and book.
Democracy in America: A New Abridgment for Students, by Alexis de Tocqueville and edited by John D. Wilsey
The Chicago Companion to Tocqueville's Democracy in America, James T. Schieffer
Tocqueville in America, George Wilson Pierson
What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, Daniel Walker Howe