The Cambridge companion to democracy in America


The Cambridge companion to democracy in America

edited by Richard Boyd

(Cambridge companions to philosophy)

Cambridge University Press, 2022

  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 432-461) and index



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.


  • Introduction: Revisiting 'Democracy in America' in the Twenty-First Century Richard Boyd
  • Part I. Sources and Contexts: 1. Tocqueville and the Philosophy of the Enlightenment Ryan Patrick Hanley
  • 2. Tocqueville's Dialogues Aurelian Craiutu
  • 3. Fugitive Aristocracy: Tocqueville's Search for Remnants of the Ancien Regime Richard Avramenko
  • Part II. Receptions and Applications: 4. Tocqueville's Conservatism and the Conservative's Tocqueville Richard Boyd
  • 5. Tocqueville and the Political Left in America: Heeding a Call for Decisive Action Robert T. Gannett, Jr.
  • 6. Democracy in the (Other) America Jose Antonio Aguilar Rivera
  • 7. Tocqueville in Japan and China: Readings and Questions James T. Schleifer
  • 8. Tocqueville and Anti-Americanism Alan Levine
  • Part III. Genres and Themes: 9. 'Ideas for the Intellect and Emotions for the Heart': The Literary Dimensions of Democracy in America Christine Dunn Henderson
  • 10. Tocquevillian Association and the Market Rachael K. Behr and Virgil Henry Storr
  • 11. Tocqueville on the Federal Constitution Jeremy D. Bailey
  • 12. Religion in Democracy in America Carson Holloway
  • 13. Tocqueville's Puritans Joshua Mitchell
  • Part IV. Democracy's Enduring Challenges: 14. Tocqueville's American Girls: Women, Manners, and the Engendering of Democracy Eileen Hunt Botting
  • 15. Picturing American Democracy: Tocqueville, Morrison, and the 'Three Races' Lawrie Balfour
  • 16. Democracy in America in the Twenty-First Century: New Challenges of Diversity and Inequality Rogers M. Smith.

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