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8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Every literate American should read this, 22. Juni 2000
Von 
David E. Levine (Peekskill , NY USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
The specific edition I am reviewing is the Heffner addition which is a 300 page abridgement. I also own an unabridged edition but I have only read Heffner cover to cover. What is amazing about de Toqueville is how uncanny many of his observations are over a century and a half later. He accurately predicted in 1844 that the world's two great powers would be the United States and Russia. He aptly pointed out that Americans are a people who join associations and he is so right 156 years later. Although there are both religious extremists on both ends, ie fundamentalists and atheists, he was dead on that, as a whole, we are a religious society but that our religious views are moderate. De Toqueville shows how American characteristics evolved from democracy as opposed to the highly class structered societies of Europe. From de Tocqueville, it could have been predicted that pop culture, such as rock music etc, would develop in America because the lack of an aristocracy causes a less cultured taste in the arts. In a thousand and one different ways, I found myself marveling at how dead on de Toqueville was. Most controversially, those who argue that we have lost our liberties to a welfare state might well find support in de Toqueville. Here, 100 years before the New Deal, he forsaw that a strong central government would take away our liberties but in a manner much more benign than in a totalitarian government. There are certain liberties that Americans would willingly sacrifice for the common good. Critics of 20th century liberalism in the US might well point to this as an uncanny observation. By reading "Democracy in America," the reader understands what makes Americans tick. De Toquville was an astute observer of who we are as a people and should be read by all educated Americans.
I want to note that there are several editions of this great work and in deciding which to buy, be aware that each has a different translator. I feel Heffner's translation is slightly stilted but, he did such a wonderful job in editing this abridgement that it, nontheless, deserves 5 stars.
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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Foundation of Democratic Study. Period., 26. Mai 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Democracy in America: The Complete and Unabridged Volumes I and II (Bantam Classic) (Taschenbuch)
Just reading the other reviews I'm astonished at the number of people who liked this book and didn't fully realize thay proved de Tocqueville right again. He points out that a materialistic society encourages each generation to not care a bit about previous/future generations. Its amazing how many people seem to think anything might be dated because it was written in 1830. Some things may have changed but the issues haven't. Ignore the date, this book is now.
It is a required reading by most Political Science dept. courses about American political thought. The most resonating critiques arise from his examination of the synergistic effect of individualism and materialism on democracy. Also he forbodes the ills of a strong centeralized government trampling on citizens- a warning calling out the need for strong local involvement by citizens.
With todays media its ironic that he calls Public Opinion the fourth branch of American government. I haven't seen the results of opinion polls on that last point though, I'm waiting for the Six O'clock news to tell me...
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A PROFOUNDLY PROPHETIC MASTERPIECE OF POLITICAL THOUGHT, 19. November 1999
Von Ein Kunde
This book has an abundance of profound observations of both praise and constructive criticism of the American political system, delivered in a richly eloquent and distinctly objective manner by a young Nineteenth Century French aristocrat/lawyer with a very impressive grasp of enduring political reality. The heart of Tocqueville's message is twofold: (1) his praise of Americans' voluntary associations as prime examples of what results from individuals pursuing enlightened self-interest, and (2) his warning that American democracy has the potential to devolve into pervasive majoritarian tyranny by an all-powerful central government covering the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules and treating citizens like children or timid and industrious animals, in perpetuity. In other words, he accurately predicted the out-of-control bureaucracy and rule by opinion poll which is now inflicting its hypnotic popular tyranny upon us.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Uncle Sam, I hardly knew Ye., 12. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Taking an 'Introduction to US politics', I was surprised to see how much of de Tocqueville's(hence deToc) poignant observations in his masterpiece,'Democracy in America', are still valid today. It is unbelievable that this was written nearly one and a half century ago, which accurate analysis led my professor to say often during class, 'If deToc came back today...' I can't understand why many people around the world have love-or/and-hate feelings against the U.S. but do not understand the U.S. at all, and why so few seem to refer to deToc's 'Democracy in America.'Maybe, because this book is the vital key to understanding Uncle Sam's psyche that some wants it to be unknown as it is. Overall, a magnificient piece of analysis that would help anyone to understand the U.S. without taking all the pains of coming over like I did.
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3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Amazingly accurate picture of past, present and future USA, 24. Dezember 1999
Von 
One of the most stricking and accurate evaluations of the American physical, mental and emotional existence then, now and in the future. De tocquevile, before our time, predicted most if not all of our successes and failures. And both congratulated and warned us of the paths we would wind up on if we chose to go left or right along the way. A compliment to the wisdom of men of his time and an insult to the pettyness of those of ours. Reading this book along with others like the Federalist Papers makes one wonder if we are progressing or regressing in our mental abilities and reasoning powers. I tend to think, the more I study the philosophies of his time and the ones presented today that we are moving backwards in knowledge, wisdom and common sense. The more technologically advanced we seem to become the more spoiled arrogant and naieve we seem to be in our social, economic and judicial practices. De Tocqueville and the men and women of his time were the true pioneers in mankinds attempt to be more than the sum of his parts. We have lost our way in regards to logic heading into the 21st century and the new millinium. And it will take men like our founders and De Tocqueville to lead the way back.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent presentation on the books, his life and times., 10. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
This is actually a presentation on de Tocqueville's life and times, centered on a general analysis of Democracy in America, but including much background on his family's history, his political career and accomplishments and a look at the historical context of France, Europe and the US in the mid 19th Century. The themes of DiA are reviewed with many quotes from the book and from commentaries by de Tocqueville's contemporaries. He is presented in all his glory: his hits (the brilliant insights into social character, the nature of democracy and his devastatingly astute, timeless analysis of our American identity) and his misses (his advocacy of war and his surprisingly traditionalist views of society's class structure). An occasional cheesy French accent in some of the characterizations is the only flaw. This is a _great_ commute tape, I look forward to "reading" more in this series on other great writers!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen confronting greatness, 29. Juli 1997
Von Ein Kunde
to read democracy in america is to confront greatness itself, to follow the reflections of one the greatest political thinkers of all time, a man of balanced rationality, with a passionate concern for the fate of democracy--true democracy, that is, not the kind we see politicians preach on tv everyday. personally i prefer volume 2 of this great work, where the author summons up his astonishingly penetrating power of analysis and prophesy
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Absolutely essential for understanding American politics, 7. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
This is one of the greatest books ever written on politics! Toqueville analyzes American democracy and its inherent strengths and weaknesses from the view of a foreigner, thus giving the reader a balanced view of the situation. A definite must-read for anyone concerned with politics and American politics in particular.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A must!, 26. Dezember 1997
Von Ein Kunde
A brilliant analysis by the father of sociology of what permitted the success and blossom of the American civilization.
I am a French (and read this book in my own chauvinistic language), and we Europeans need badly much of what is described in this book
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5.0 von 5 Sternen kick ass, 17. Oktober 1998
Von Ein Kunde
for any gov., hist., econ., soc., anth. student a must read
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Democracy in America: The Complete and Unabridged Volumes I and II (Bantam Classic)
Democracy in America: The Complete and Unabridged Volumes I and II (Bantam Classic) von Alexis De Tocqueville (Taschenbuch - 4. April 2000)
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