[in chronological order]
Excerpt: In recent years, Americans have lost sight of religion’s positive contribution to creating and sustaining our democracy. We have not forgotten religion’s relevance to our political life; we are continually reminded of that by our ongoing debates… More
Excerpt: I stop the first American I meet … and I ask him if he believes religion to be useful to the stability of laws and to the good order of society; without hesitation he answers that a civilized society, but above all a free society, cannot subsist… More
Abstract: Tocqueville’s sole reference to Machiavelli in Democracy in America is a nicely located misquotation. This article makes much of it, more than one would likely think possible. Tocqueville’s mission was to replace Machiavelli in his role… More
Excerpt of an admiring but critical essay by James Q. Wilson on Tocqueville: Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville is no doubt the greatest book ever written by a foreigner about this country. It may be one of the greatest books written about any… More
Excerpt: Alexis de Tocqueville was a liberal, but, as he once wrote, a “new kind of liberal.” For us, no feature of his new liberalism is more remarkable than the alliance between religion and liberty that he saw in America and proposed to be imitated,… More
Excerpt: Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop have written that “Democracy in America is at once the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America.” The editors of this volume concur with this assessment, and aim to… More
Excerpt: In view of Tocqueville’s criticisms of philosophy, it may seem paradoxical and presumptuous to call him a philosopher. But he calls himself a “new kind of liberal;’ and he sets forth a new liberalism that he has rethought. In… More
Excerpt: In view of Alexis de Tocqueville’s criticisms of philosophy, it may seem paradoxical and presumptuous to call him a philosopher; yet it was through his critique of philosophy that he set forth a new, rethought liberalism. In Democracy in America,… More
Excerpt: Tocqueville’s account of American democracy makes no use of what might be thought one of its philosophical foundations, the theory of natural rights based on an interpretation of abstract and universal human nature. Yet at the same time he offers… More
More Than Kings and Less Than Men: Tocqueville on the Promise and Perils of Democratic Individualism- L. Joseph Hebert, Jr. More Than Kings and Less Than Men: Tocqueville on the Promise and Perils of Democratic Individualism (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2010)
Excerpt: According to a tradition of classical writing, the key to any great work is in its beginning. Tocqueville, whose college years were steeped in the study and imitation of Cicero and Demosthenes, illustrates this maxim well. He tells us that the… More
Excerpt: Removed for a time from the scene of public life, I am constrained, in the midst of my solitude, to turn my thoughts upon myself, or rather to reflect upon contemporary events in which I have taken part or acted as a witness. And it seems to me that… More
Excerpt: The book I now publish is not a history of the Revolution. That history has been too brilliantly written for me to think of writing it afresh. This is a mere essay on the Revolution. The French made, in 1789, the greatest effort that has ever been… More
Excerpt: "Among the novel objects that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of condition among the people. I readily discovered the prodigious influence that this primary fact… More
Prof. Dana Stauffer of the University of Texas speaks at Michigan State University on Alexis de Tocqueville.
In this Conversation, Harvey Mansfield offers an in-depth interpretation of Tocqueville’s masterwork.
In this Conversation, Harvey Mansfield explains the connection between the thought of Alexis de Tocqueville and Machiavelli.
In this 2014 conversation with Bill Kristol, Harvey Mansfield of Harvard explains why Tocqueville was a “philosopher who was suspicious of philosophy.”
Tocqueville’s World and Ours A rigorous examination of Democracy in America’s “new political science” and a search to answer, “What was Tocqueville putting behind him?” with his declaredly new approach.
Democratic Statecraft: Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Lecture I With the emergence of democracies in Europe and the New World at the beginning of the nineteenth century, political philosophers began to re-evaluate the relationship between freedom and… More
Lecture: On Religion and Rational Control “Rational control” is the subjection of society to reason as opposed to superstition, prejudice, or tradition, with the aim of getting us to behave better. Alexis de Tocqueville says this idea or practice began… More
In Depth with Harvey Mansfield
Democratic Greatness in the American Founding ISI Lecture by Harvey Mansfield
Excerpt: Paris, Feb. 21, 1835. To Eugène Stoffels: It is a long time since I have had any talk with you, dear friend; yet I often think of you. Among other anxieties, I am anxious about your present and future position. I fancy that if, as seems probable,… More
Excerpt: SOME IDEAS ABOUT WHAT PREVENTS THE FRENCH FROM HAVING GOOD COLONIES (1833) Even supposing that the territory that is to contain the colony has been discovered and that it combines the conditions necessary for the success of the enterprise, there… More
Excerpt: Well, here I am at Tocqueville, in my old family ruin. A league away is the harbour from which William set out to conquer England. I am surrounded by Normans whose names figure in the lists of the conquerors. All that, I must admit, ‘flatters… More
Excerpt: Alexis de Tocqueville to N.W. Senior March 24, 1834. My dear Mr. Senior,– I hope that you have not yet entirely forgotten one who will always remember your kind reception with gratitude. I take to-day the liberty of asking you to bestow a… More
Excerpt: From Tocqueville To Charles Stoffels Paris, November 4, 1830 … My position in France is bad in every respect, at least to my way of seeing, for either this government will consolidate its position, which is not very likely, or it will be… More
Excerpt: 9 May. Yesterday morning the first cry of land was heard but it took a glass to see the coast. Today the rising sun has just revealed Long Island to us. We are approaching the shore rapidly, one already sees grass and trees in leaf; it’s a… More