In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont spent nine months in the U.S. studying American prisons on behalf of the French government. They investigated not just the prison system but indeed every aspect of American public and private life—the political, economic, religious, cultural, and above all the social life of the young nation. From Tocqueville’s copious notes came Democracy in America.
This English-only edition of Democracy in America features Eduardo Nolla’s incisive notes to James Schleifer’s English translation of the French text, with extensive reference to early outlines, drafts, manuscript variants, marginalia, unpublished fragments, and other materials: “This new Democracy is not only the one that Tocqueville presented to the reader of 1835, then to the reader of 1840. . . the reader will see how Tocqueville proceeded with the elaboration of the main ideas of this book.”
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859) was a French writer and politician.
Eduardo Nolla is a Professor at the Universidad San Pablo-CEU, Madrid.
James T. Schleifer is emeritus Dean of the Library and Professor of History at the College of New Rochelle and has been a visiting lecturer at Yale University.