By Lucien Jaume
Many American readers wish to regard Alexis de Tocqueville as an honorary American and democrat--as the younger French aristocrat who got here to early the US and, enthralled by means of what he observed, proceeded to write down an American e-book explaining democratic the United States to itself. but, as Lucien Jaume argues during this acclaimed highbrow biography, Democracy in America is healthier understood as a French e-book, written basically for the French, and overwhelmingly interested by France. "America," Jaume says, "was only a pretext for learning sleek society and the woes of France." For Tocqueville, briefly, the USA used to be a replicate for France, a manner for Tocqueville to jot down in a roundabout way approximately his personal society, to interact French thinkers and debates, and to return to phrases with France's aristocratic legacy.
by means of taking heavily the concept Tocqueville's French context is vital for knowing Democracy in America, Jaume offers a robust and fantastic new interpretation of Tocqueville's e-book in addition to a clean highbrow and mental portrait of the writer. Situating Tocqueville within the context of the hindrance of authority in postrevolutionary France, Jaume exhibits that Tocqueville used to be an ambivalent promoter of democracy, a guy who attempted to reconcile himself to the arrival wave, yet who used to be additionally nostalgic for the aristocratic international within which he was once rooted--and who believed that it'd be essential to look after aristocratic values on the way to safeguard liberty lower than democracy. certainly, Jaume argues that one in every of Tocqueville's most crucial and unique rules used to be to acknowledge that democracy posed the specter of a brand new and hidden type of despotism.
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Many American readers prefer to regard Alexis de Tocqueville as an honorary American and democrat--as the younger French aristocrat who got here to early the USA and, enthralled by way of what he observed, proceeded to jot down an American ebook explaining democratic the US to itself. but, as Lucien Jaume argues during this acclaimed highbrow biography, Democracy in the United States is healthier understood as a French e-book, written basically for the French, and overwhelmingly occupied with France.
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Additional resources for Tocqueville : the aristocratic sources of liberty
367–79. Tocqueville attacked the special status and protective immunities granted to the Conseil d’État and, through it, to functionaries, who could not be taken to court without the prior agreement of the administrative judge; the Conseil d’État is the sole judge in the French administration. 27 DA I, p. 134; AG, p. 79. 28 Turning the tables, it is amusing to read the observations of an American in Paris in 1847: “In the constant surveillance of such a police force there is something incompatible with an American’s idea of freedom.
66 On the phases of this alliance and its electoral manifestos, see Hugues de Changy, Le Mouvement légitimiste sous la monarchie de Juillet (1833–1848) (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2004). It bears emphasizing that this coalition was more than just opportunistic. , pp. 47, 101, and 311. ” 68 An ardent apostle of universal suffrage for the benefit of the monarchy, Lourdoueix wrote La Restauration de la société française, 3rd ed. (Paris: Sapia, 1834), a passionate but theoretically feeble work.
Its analysis therefore required the eye of a moralist59 combined with that of a sociologist attuned to empirical data. Tocqueville therefore needed DA II, p. 232; AG, p. 680. OC XII (Souvenirs), p. 114. 59 In the sense of La Bruyère, La Fontaine, and La Rochefoucauld: see part 3. 57 58 At tac k i n g t h e Fren c h T r a d it ion 35 a sophisticated approach to writing in order to fully express his thought. 60 And then he had to incorporate his critique of the French bourgeoisie, albeit in attenuated form, while hiding the deeper meaning of his work behind any number of veils.
Tocqueville : the aristocratic sources of liberty by Lucien Jaume