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This collection of essays is an invaluable companion for understanding the composition, reception, and contemporary legacy of Alexis de Tocqueville's classic work Democracy in America. Chapters by political theorists, intellectual historians, economists, political scientists, and community organizers explore the major intellectual influences on Tocqueville's thought, the book's reception in its own day and by subsequent political thinkers, and its enduring relevance for some of today's most pressing issues. Chapters tackle Tocqueville's insights into liberal democracy, civil society and civic engagement, social reform, religion and politics, free markets, constitutional interpretation, the history of slavery and race relations, gender, literature, and foreign policy. The many ways in which Tocqueville's ideas have been taken up – sometimes at cross-purposes – by subsequent thinkers and political actors around the world are also examined. This volume demonstrates the enduring global significance of one of the most perceptive accounts ever written about American democracy and the future prospects for self-government.
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