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Publisher's Summary

In 1831, a young French aristocrat named Alexis de Tocqueville came to the United States officially to appraise the country’s penal system - but with a higher personal goal in mind. Looking to America’s unique democratic system as a possible model for post-revolutionary France, Tocqueville set about to study the culture, character, and institutions of the evolving nation. "I confess that in America I saw more than America,” he said; “I sought the image of democracy itself, with its inclinations, its character, its prejudices, and its passions, in order to learn what we have to fear or hope from its progress." His resulting work, the classic Democracy in America, proved so insightful and prophetic that it continues to command the attention of historians, scholars, and politicians today.
©1969 J. P. Mayer (P)1989 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"No better study of a nation's institutions and culture than Tocqueville's Democracy in America has ever been written by a foreign observer; none perhaps as good." ( New York Times)
“It's hard to think of a work that has so influenced our understanding of the United States as this—still the most authoritative, reflective set of observations about American institutions and the American character ever written.” ( Publishers Weekly)
"[George Lawrence's] wonderful style has given us a work that will be a standard for many years." ( Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Mimi Routh on 11-29-12


I have known for a long time that this is a book I should read. I am a bit over half way through and about to bail, probably listen again when I'm in a better frame of mind. Some of the Frenchman's observations about my country are interesting and even funny. Then he goes off talking about aristocracies and his own philosophy based on his travels and viewpoint. Now it is holiday time and I am going to sleep or else not really following. I have enjoyed Frederick Davidson's other readings in the past. He is insufferable reading this. Something about his voice just makes de Toqueville sound like a pompous British ass instead of the very young Frenchman he was.

I'm mature and somewhat an intellectual and will hang in to finish something worthwhile. So I will come back to this. I am writing this review partly because nobody else has written one. This book requires careful listening. I think women especially will be irritated, as we have all met this know-it-all in a bar somewhere! So if you have an assignment to read this book, get this, as it is very well read; it tracks well. If you want a "good listen," please just keep looking.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Robert I Scheinman on 09-01-16

A great work read horribly

The reader has a very strong English accent which required much concentration to understand. Furthermore, he constantly dropped the volume of his speaking voice at the end of sentences making it even more difficult to follow. The recording should be remastered to at least improve the volume issues.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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