Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Tocqueville: The Aristocratic Sources of Liberty

Lucien Jaume


Many American readers like to regard Alexis de Tocqueville as an honorary American and democrat—as the young French aristocrat who came to early America and, enthralled by what he saw, proceeded to write an American book explaining democratic America to itself. Yet, as this book argues, Democracy in America is best understood as a French book, written primarily for the French, and overwhelmingly concerned with France. “America,” this book claims, “was merely a pretext for studying modern society and the woes of France.” For Tocqueville, in short, America was a mirror for France, a way for Tocq ... More

Keywords: Alexis de Tocqueville, democratic America, French thinkers, Democracy in America, postrevolutionary France, aristocratic France, liberty, despotism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780691152042
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691152042.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lucien Jaume, author