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Alexis de Tocqueville A Life (Paperback)

Author:  Hugh Brogan
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Learn more about Alexis de Tocqueville:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0300136250
ISBN-13: 9780300136258
Sku: 206554257
Publish Date: 3/1/2008
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 9.25H x 6L x 1.75T
Pages:  724
Age Range:  NA
From the Publisher:
Alexis de Tocqueville was one of the greatest political thinkers of all time. Born a French aristocrat, he lost nearly his entire family in the Reign of Terror, and he spent most of his adult life struggling for liberty under the unsuccessful regimes of nineteenth-century France. ||At age twenty-five he travelled to America and encountered democracy for the first time. This firsthand experience contributed to his incisive writing on liberty and democracy. The ancien régime launched the scholarly study of the French Revolution, and Democracy in America remains the best book ever written by a European about the United States. This is a brilliant account of his life.
This flesh-and-blood biography of the Frenchman who, some say, understood America better than most Americans provides an insightful picture of Alexis de Tocqueville's important relationships--to his aristocratic family, to his beloved English wife, and to France. Tocqueville wrote admiringly of the American character in his masterwork, DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA, but Brogan shows that he was also an astute observer of French history and mores, as he places Tocqueville in the historical and political context of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the age of Napoleon. Brogan's vivid telling of Tocqueville's life of hope and disappointment broadens and deepens our understanding of a man too often limited to a single book--great though it may be.


"Hugh Brogan is not just a sure-footed guide to a brilliant, though elusive, theorist. He has a historian's grasp of the period and a novelist's gift for character. As a portrait of a complicated man, a teeming milieu and a world in tumult, ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE has the satisfying fullness of 19th-century fiction." 11/25/2006

"It is hard to do justice to the artistry with which Brogan renders this complicated character....Though I have read Tocqueville on and off for many years, I felt as if I knew the man behind the writings for the first time. Brogan has given us a masterly reconstruction of the European milieu by which Tocqueville was formed, and the definitive biography of one of the nineteenth century's most representative thinkers." - John Gray December, 2006

"Hugh Brogan's account of Tocqueville's life is written with a stylish brio and command of detail and narrative worthy of his subject. It is almost as great a pleasure to read as Tocqueville himself." - Ferdinand Mount 02/23/2007

"Hugh Brogan has taken almost forty-five years to write ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE....The wait has been worth it. The book is full of insight into Tocqueville the sociologist, historian, social prophet, and liberal politician, but it is as a biography that it triumphs." - Alan Ryan 11/22/2007

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0724
Product attributePublisher:   Yale University Press
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