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Democracy in America - TOCQUEVILLE Alexis de - 1841. [1273865]
1841 - TOCQUEVILLE, Alexis de. Democracy in America. Translated by Henry Reeve With an Original Preface and Notes By John C. Spencer. New York: J. & H.G. Langley, 1841. Two volumes. Octavo, original brown cloth gilt. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $7000.First complete edition in English of Tocqueville's important and influential analysis of American democracy, one of the outstanding intellectual achievements of the 19th century, containing a folding map of North America with information from the census of 1840, published here for the first time in America, scarce in original cloth.Commissioned by the French government to study the American penal system in 1831-32, Tocqueville ultimately produced, with Democracy in America, "the first systematic and empirical study of the effects of political power on modern society" (Nisbet). "In 1835, the first volume appeared (in French), and throughout the intellectual circles of western Europe both democracy and America took on a new aspect and a new significance in political speculation" (NYU, 955). During his nine-month stay in the United States, Tocqueville absorbed a remarkable sense of the spirit and maintenance of democracy, and affirms his faith in humanity's ability to pursue the democratic society: "It is true that around every man a fatal circle is traced, beyond which he cannot pass; but within the wide verge of that circle he is powerful and free; as it is with man, so it is with communities. The nations of our time cannot prevent the conditions of men from becoming equal, but it depends upon themselves whether the principle of equality is to lead them to servitude and freedom, to knowledge or barbarism, to prosperity or wretchedness." The first part of the work was published in French in 1835 and the second part in 1840. Each part was translated into English and published separately in both England and American: Reeve's translation of Part I was first published in London in 1835, and the first American edition of the first part in 1838. Part II would not be published in English translation until 1840. This 1841 American edition marks the first time both parts of the work were published together in English. Sabin 96065. Howes T278. Downs 47, 56. Both volumes faintly foxed; dampstain affecting first several leaves of Volume II, including title page; folding map with archival reinforcement to verso. Expert restoration to original cloth. A very good copy of this classic. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-11-26           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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