If you’re like me, and don’t instantly recognize the name Alexis de Tocqueville, then Kenneth C. Davis’ “Today in History” blog post should prove both fascinating and informative to you. The author of A Nation Rising and Don’t Know Much about History, Davis focuses on Tocqueville in commemoration of his birthday. A French magistrate who spent nine months in America, examining American democracy to understand how the American experience could help form the developing democratic spirit in France and the rest of Europe, Tocqueville studied aspects of American life ranging from our penal system to our three branches of government. His work culminated in the book Democracy in America which included his philosophical interpretations, interviews with Americans such as President Andrew Jackson as well as frontiersmen, and journalistic observations.
Want to know more about Tocqueville, his work, and his views on America? Check out either the abridged or unabridged versions of Democracy in America. His startlingly accurate foresight on topics such as slavery and the treatment of Native Americans will surely capture the attention of students of American History and studiers of political science.