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Democracy in America: The Complete and Unabridged Volumes I and II (Bantam Classic) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 4. April 2000

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Taschenbuch, 4. April 2000
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Produktinformation

Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"No better study of a nation's institutions and culture than Tocqueville's Democracy in America has ever been written by a foreign observer; none perhaps as good."
--The New York Times

Praise for the work of Joseph Epstein:

"Epstein is one of the premier contemporary American essayists...What is so remarkable about Epstein as an essay writer is that he'll begin a discussion at some personal place...and end up in another place relevant to us all. He enjoys making language work, not making it jump through hoops for show." --Booklist

"Joseph Epstein is an essayist in the brilliant tradition of Charles Lamb. He moves so effortlessly from the amusingly personal to the broadly philosophical that it takes a moment before you realize how far out into the intellectual cosmos you've been taken."
--Tom Wolfe

"Joseph Epstein's essays no more need his identifying byline than Van Gogh's paintings need his signature. Epstein's style--call it learned whimsy--is unmistakable; for Epstein addicts, indispensable."
--George Will

"Joseph Epstein is the liveliest, most erudite and engaging essayist we have." --James Atlas

"If Epstein's ultimate ancestor is Montaigne, his more immediate master is Mencken. Like Mencken, he has fashioned a style that successfully combines elegance and even bookishness with street-smart colloquial directness. And there is nothing remote or aloof about him."
--John Gross, Chicago Tribune

Synopsis

A study of our national government and character follows the author's concern about the effect of majority rule on the rights of individuals and provides insight into the rewards and responsibilities of a democratic government.

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Format: 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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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 von 5 Sternen 91 Rezensionen
45 von 50 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Foundation of Democratic Study. Period. 26. Mai 2000
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: 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...
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Rules for Radicals 17. Oktober 2012
Von ald902r - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This is a must for every citizen in the free world to read! This shows and makes the case why the United States is truly a great place. It also shows what an incredible system our founders put into place based on all of the other failed system and taking from all of the greats in the past to create a country based on Liberty and Freedom. Every High School student should read this as well, instead of Sal Alinsky. We as a Nation need to get back to the core founding principles and this is a great read to see why it truly works. Homeschoolers it's a must!
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Breaking of the Human Spirit 20. März 2011
Von K. Burns - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Though this is an especially long read at 900+ pages with Appendix and Notes, I would implore those of a shorter attention span to at least read Book Four in its entirety. 'Democracy in America' is a collection of Four Books with multiple chapters each. It follows a theme of history, current events, and prediction.

Tocqueville covers the history of American slavery and the treatment of Native Americans without apology. There is no political correctness in his observations and predictions. It made for an intriguing read. I would believe Tocqueville to be one of political philosophy's first feminists- he is rather flattering of the female spirit and ability.

His warnings are nearly prophetic in regards to the perpetuality of wars, corporatism, physical gratification of the people, and the merging of public and private sectors. He is most perceptive about the breaking of the human spirit by a government of which he has no term, but would mostly be recognized as the "Nanny State" today. His most poignant predictions, for me, occur on pages 861-862 in his description of how equality will evenutally reduce a nation "to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd."

The overall theme is a battle of the human spirit over the supremacy of Equality verse that of Freedom. I end this book in agreement with Tocqueville: "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."
22 von 31 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen FYI: 1900 edition with racist introduction 30. August 2012
Von Jennifer W. Horne - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This is a great deal on Kindle at $.99, but be aware that this is a 1900 edition with an introduction by John T. Morgan, a senator from Alabama during the Jim Crow era. I quote Morgan:
"In his introductory chapter, M. De Tocqueville says: 'Amongst the novel objects that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of conditions.' He referred, doubtless, to social and political conditions among the people of the white race, who are described as 'We, the people,' in the opening sentence of the Constitution. The last three amendments of the Constitution have so changed this, that those who were then negro slaves are clothed with the rights of citizenship, including the right of suffrage. This was a political party movement, intended to be radical and revolutionary, but it will, ultimately, react because it has not the sanction of public opinion. If M. De Tocqueville could now search for a law that would negative this provision in its effect upon social equality, he would fail to find it. But he would find it in the unwritten law of the natural aversion of the races."
As a historical document with such an introduction, this edition is of interest in and of itself, but the introduction should definitely be read in its historical context--which is not provided anywhere in descriptive material about the book.
Also good to know: The translation is that of Henry Reeve, to whom De Tocqueville said, "Without wishing to do so and by following the instinct of your opinions, you have quite vividly colored what was contrary to Democracy and almost erased what could do harm to Aristocracy."
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A good read 26. Juli 2013
Von E. L. Gelhaar - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
...which is not something I would have expected to say about a long and very old classic. First, it's history. What today would be called social history. We learn a great deal about what everyday life was like in the early years of the Republic. Second, we see the foundation of the country from the point of view of a well-informed and widely travelled foreigner, who is for the most part sympathetic with our ancestors' bold new experiment. But third, and the most remarkable thing about de Tocqueville is how right he was about so many things, though he was spectacularly wrong about a few, and the jury is still out on yet others.

Not incidentally, this is a cracking good translation. It was done about 1875, and the translator includes a few footnotes of his own---pointing out, for example, that the author was wrong when he predicted that states would never seceed from the union. But it doesn't read like 19th century prose. It is mostly simple to follow and flows as a good narrative should. I found it hard to put down at the chapter endings.

Though you have to. It's a long book.

One note on the Kindle edition: Amazon has not yet made the reader footnote-friendly. Jumping back and forth can be a major pain in the... Wherever you get such pains. And most of these footnotes are worth reading.
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