Alexis de Tocqueville: A Life Summary and Reviews

Alexis de Tocqueville: A Life

by Hugh Brogan

Alexis de Tocqueville: A Life by Hugh Brogan X
Alexis de Tocqueville: A Life by Hugh Brogan
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2007
    736 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

Alexis de Tocqueville was one of the greatest political thinkers of all time. Born a French aristocrat, he lost nearly his entire family in the Reign of Terror, and he spent most of his adult life struggling for liberty under the unsuccessful regimes of nineteenth-century France.

At age twenty-five he travelled to America and encountered democracy for the first time. This firsthand experience contributed to his incisive writing on liberty and democracy. The ancien régime launched the scholarly study of the French Revolution, and Democracy in America remains the best book ever written by a European about the United States. This is a brilliant account of his life.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This magisterial biography, selected by the Economist on its U.K. publication as one of the best 100 books of 2006, serves up all the interesting personal details in the life of Tocqueville (1805–1859), the man who most influenced America and its self-perception." - PW.

"Though not a sentimentalist, this reviewer teared up as he read of Tocqueville's last days. Enthusiastically recommended for all libraries." - Library Journal.

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