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Tocqueville and the American Experiment (The Great Courses, 4863) (Audiobook) (Repost)

Posted By: bookwyrm
Tocqueville and the American Experiment (The Great Courses, 4863) (Audiobook) (Repost)

Tocqueville and the American Experiment (The Great Courses, 4863) (Audiobook) By Professor William R. Cook
2005 | 12 hours and 23 mins | ISBN: 1565859529 | MP3 12 kbps | 371 MB


How is it possible that perhaps the greatest book about U.S. democracy ever written was penned by a Frenchman visiting this country some 175 years ago? Why is it still relevant in today’s ever-changing political landscape? Now you can draw your own conclusions as you join Professor William R. Cook for a spirited exploration of Alexis de Tocqueville and his unique observations of this young nation that resulted in the two volumes of Democracy in America. Democracy is so much a part of our national identity as to be inseparable from it. It is all too easily taken for granted as we live our daily lives, debate our country’s issues, freely criticize our leaders, and cast our ballots. But in today’s world, when we are also trying to understand how to make democracy a part of the national identity of other nations, an in-depth understanding of this remarkable political system is especially relevant. What is American democracy, and why has it flourished? Is there something unique in our national character, in our social fabric and communities, that makes the United States especially fertile ground for the growth of democracy? Can American democracy be exported? Does it naturally fortify itself over time? Or do its benefits, ironically, work to undermine its strengths? After more than two centuries of living with democracy, fundamental questions like these often go unasked. Yet there was a time when the unique relationship between the American people and their government was still new, barely two generations old, and these questions were very much at the forefront of the age’s greatest minds. One of those minds belonged to a 25-year-old French nobleman, a lawyer named Alexis de Tocqueville, who journeyed here in 1831, and whose written observations at that time left us a lasting and provocative look at U.S. democracy’s formative years. Tocqueville took this journey with another young lawyer, Gustave de Beaumont, who had written a report on French prisons. Although the official purpose of the trip was to research innovations in the American penal system, the two of them—especially Tocqueville—had in mind a much broader use of the credentials provided them by their own government. Tocqueville wanted to observe firsthand the successful political experiment that was evolving in the United States and take his findings home to France, which was itself trying to shape its own young democracy.