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A look at Tocqueville

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Looking at Tocqueville’s blind spots

«Tocqueville was deeply worried by American individualism, equating it with corrosive selfishness.»

Alexis de Tocqueville literally wrote the book on the Unites States. Democracy in America (1835–1840), informed by his wide-ranging nine-month visit to the country, is generally recognized as one of the classic studies of American political culture.

But Tocqueville was only human, and Democracy in America is still just a book. For all its insight, writes the late political scientist James Q. Wilson, the French nobleman’s magnum opus “left a bit to be desired.”

Tocqueville believed that Americans would come to value equality over liberty…MORE

THE SOURCE: “Tocqueville and America” by James Q. Wilson. The Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2012.

Looking at Tocqueville’s blind spots

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