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Alexis de Tocqueville on Democracy, Revolution, and Society (Heritage of Sociology)


Alexis de Tocqueville on Democracy, Revolution, and Society (Heritage of Sociology) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Alexis de Tocqueville possessed one of the most fertile sociological imaginations of the nineteenth century. For more than 120 years, his uncanny predictive insight has continued to fascinate thinkers, and his writings have continued to influence our interpretations of history and society. His analyses of many issues remain relevant to current social and political problems. In this volume John Stone and Stephen Mennell bring together for the first time selections from the full range of Tocqueville's writings, selections that illustrate the depth of his insight and analysis.

About the Author

John Stone is professor of sociology and Chairman of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at George Mason University. Stephen Mennell is professor of sociology and Chairman of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Monash University, Australia.

Table of Contents


Introduction by John Stone and Stephen Mennell

1. The Social Origins of Democracy

The Democratic Character of Anglo-American Society

The American System of Townships

Political Effects of Administrative Decentralization in the United States

The Distinctiveness of the American Federal Constitution

The Relative Importance of Manners, Laws, and Physical Characteristics in the Maintenance of Democracy

2. The Political Structure of Democracy

Political Activity in America

Political Associations in the United States

The Role of Secondary Institutions

Freedom of the Press

Political Functions of the Jury System

Political Functions of Religion

Political Functions of Education

The Tyranny of the Majority

3. Social Relations under Democracy

The Softening of Manners as Social Conditions became More Equal

How Democracy Makes Social Encounters among the Americans Simple and Easy

How Equality Divides the Americans into Numerous Small Social Circles

Associations in American Civil Life

How Democracy Affects the Relations of Masters and Servants

Democracy and the Equality of the Sexes

War and Democratic Armies

4. The Cultural Consequences of Democracy

Philosophical Method among the Americans

The Principal Source of Belief among Democratic Nations

Why the Americans Are More Addicted to Practical Than to Theoretical Science

The Spirit in Which the Americans Cultivate the Arts

Literary Characteristics of Democratic Ages

The Trade of Literature

The Effect of Democracy on Language

Characteristics of Historians in Democratic Ages

5. The Ancien Régime and the Origins of the French Revolution

The Nature of the Problem

How, Though Its Objectives Were Political, the French Revolution Followed the Lines of a Religious Revolution, and Why This Was So

What Did the French Revolution Accomplish?

Why Feudalism Had Come to Be More Detested in France Than in Any Other Country

Administrative Centralization under the Ancien Régime

How Paternal Government, as It Is Called Today, Had Been Practiced under the Ancien Régime

How in France, More Than in Any Other European Country, the Provinces Had Come under the Domination of the Capital City

How France Had Become the Country in Which Men Were Most Like Each Other

How, Though in Many Respects Similar, the French Were Split Up into Small, Isolated, Self-regarding Groups

How the Lot of the French Peasant Was Sometimes Worse in the Eighteenth Century Than It Had Been in the Thirteenth

6. The Dynamics of Revolution

How, Around the Middle of the Eighteenth Century, Men of Letters Took the Lead in Politics

How the Desire for Reforms Took Precedence over the Desire for Freedom

How Prosperity Hastened the Outbreak of the Revolution

How the Spirit of Revolt was Promoted by Well-intentioned Efforts to Improve the People's Lot

How, Given These Facts, the Revolution Was a Foregone Conclusion

From the Revolution to Napoleon

7. The Revolution of 1848 and Its Aftermath

The Jury Monarchy: Triumph of the Bourgeoisie

The End of the July Monarchy

Causes of the February Revolution

The Class Character of Revolutions

Blunders of the Revolutionaries

Louis Napoleon's Coup of 2 December 1851

8. Social Control: Individualism, Alienation, and Deviance

Social control under the Ancien Régime

Social Control in the New England Townships

Respect for Law in the United States

Anomie in France on the Eve of Revolution

Individualism in Democratic Countries

That Aristocracy May Be Engendered by Industry

A Manufacturing City—Manchester

Social Conditions in Ireland

Prisons: A Gresham's Law of Crime

The Effects of Solitary Confinement

The Rehabilitation of Prisoners

The Effects of Degrading Punishments

How Much Crime Is There?

Criminal Statistics: Problems of International Comparison

9. Race Relations, Slavery, and Colonialism

Tocqueville versus Gobineau

Ethnic Stratification in Ireland

Race Relations in America

The American Indians

Blacks in America

Slavery in the French Colonies

Colonialism in Algeria

10. Tocqueville's Prophecy: Centralization, Equality, and the Problem of Liberty

Future Prospects of the United States

Why Democratic Nations Show a More Enduring Love of Equality Than of Liberty

Why Great Revolutions Will Become More Rare

The Tendency towards Political Centralization

Democratic Despotism

Freedom: A Statement of Faith



Product Details

Mennell, Stephen; Stone, John
Stone, John
Stone, John; Mennell, Stephen
Mennell, Stephen
de Tocqueville, Alexis
Mennell, Stephen
Tocqueville, Alexis De
Stone, John
University of Chicago Press
Sociology - General
History, theory and practice
Edition Description:
Heritage of Sociology Series
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » US History » 1800 to Civil War
History and Social Science » US History » De Tocqueville

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