Alexis de Tocqueville: Assessments and Interpretations

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Assessments and Interpretations




The Americans had the chances of birth in their favor; and their forefathers imported that equality of conditions into the country, whence the democratic republic has very naturally taken its rise. Nor was this all they did; for besides this republican condition of society, the early settlers bequeathed to their descendants those customs, manners, and opinions, which contribute most to the success of a republican form of government.

Alexis de Tocqueville, American Institutions and Their Influence 294 (A.S. Barnes & Co. 1854)


Abbott, James, Whither Tocqueville in American Sociology? 38(1) American Sociologist 60-77 (March 2007). On the diminishing influence of Tocqueville on sociologists.

Audier, Serge, Machiavel, Tocqueville, Marx, dans la pensée politique française depuis l’entre-deux guerres (Dissertation, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, 2000).

Ajzenstadt, Janet, French Canada and the Liberal Theory of Nationality: Some Now Unpopular 19th Century Ideas, 65(2) Dalhousie Review 182-195 (1985).

Aron, Raymond, Il recupero di Tocqueville, 38(186) Comunità 118-134 (1984). English title: The revival of Tocqueville.

Aron, Raymond, Tocqueville and Marx, in History, Truth, Liberty 165-195 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985).

Aron, Raymond, Tocqueville retrouvé, The Tocqueville Review — 1979.

Auletta, Ken, If Tocqueville Could See Us Now, 33(4) American Heritage 8-17 (1982).

Barzun, Jacques, Notes on Tocqueville’s Interpreters, 7 Tocqueville Review 149-155 (1985/1986).

Bates, Clifford, Jr., Aristotle, Tocqueville, and “Populism Rightly Understood,” Vogelin View, August 29, 2023. link here. 

Baunard, Mgr., La foi et ses victoires dans le siècle present (2d ed.; Paris: Poussielgue Frères, 1884)(Le combat de la foi; etudes biographiques et apologetiques; 3 serie). Includes material on Frederic Bastiat, Joseph Droz, Alexis de Tocqueville, Pierre Le Play.

Beloff, Max, Tocqueville and the Americans, 170 Fortnightly Review 573-579 (1951).

Benoît, Jean-Louis, Tocqueville aurait-il enfin trouvé ses juges? 27 Res publica – (December 2001).

Benoît, Jean-Louis, Relectures de Tocqueville, 16 Le Banquet – (December 2001).

Bentzel, Anne, Traveling Tocqueville’s America: Retracing the 17-state Tour That Inspired Alexis de Tocqueville’s Political Classic Democracy in America (Baltimore, MD: Published for C-SPAN by the Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998).

Boudon, Raymond, Tocqueville aujourd’hui (Paris; Odile Jacob, 2005)(Science humaine).

Brogan, Hugh, XII: Tocqueville revisited, 41 History Today 49-52 (December 1991).

Bryant, Clell, Tocqueville’s America, 36(4) Smithsonian 104-107 (July 2005).

Byrne, D. S. Review Essay: Tocqueville in a Conservative World. Australian Review of Public Affairs Digest, February 13, 2006. Review of The Tocqueville Reader (Oliver Zunz and Alan S. Kahan ed.)(Blackwell Publishing, 2002).

Caplow, Theodore, The Current Relevance of Democracy in America, 7 Tocqueville Review 137-147 (1985/1986).

Carey, Peter, Parrot and Olivier (Camberwell: Hamish Hamilton, 2009). A fictionalized account of a French aristocrat’s visit to the United States in the early 1830s.  Olivier is the character based on Tocqueville.

Cohen, David, Chasing the Red, White, and Blue: A Journey in Tocqueville’s Footsteps Through Contemporary America (NY: Godalming: Picador USA; Melia, 2002).

Couture, Yves, Philosophie politique et modernité: deux reappropriations critiques de Tocqueville (Paris: The Author, 1990)(Memoire et DEA: Doctrine et philosophie politiques).

De Tocqueville vs BlairSpectator, May 20, 1995, at 7.

Delogu, C. Jon, Tocqueville and Democracy in the Internet Age (Open Humanities Press, 2014).

Dolence, David M. Tocquevillian Political Associations, Social Capital, and the Centralizing Tendency of Democracy in the United States (Dissertation, Northern Illinois University, 2006).

Drago, Roland, Actualité de Tocqueville (Tocqueville et l’administration), 139(4) Revue des Sciences Morales et Politiques 633-645 (1984). Tocqueville’s Relevance Today: Tocqueville on Administration.

Draper, Theodore, The Idea of the “Cold War” and Its Prophets: On Tocqueville & OthersEncounter, February 1979, at 34-45.

Drosnay, Arthur de, Les petits mysteres de l’Academie Française, revelations d’un envieux … (Paris: Chez Saint-Jorre et chez Dentu, 1844). Includes essay on Tocqueville.

Furet, François, Aron réintroducteur de Tocqueville, in Raymond Aron, la philosophie de l’histoire et les sciences sociales (J.-C. Chamboredon, ed.; Paris: Editions Rue d’Lum, 1999).

Freund, Dorrit, Aktuelle Gedanken zur Demokratie bei Alexis de Tocqueville und Max Weber, 53 Schweizer Monathefte 857-862 (1974).

Gauchet, M., Tocqueville, l’Amérique et nous. Sur la genèse des sociètes démocratiques, 80-87 Libre — ().

Gerhard, Dietrich, Tocqueville und die Vereinigten Staaten von heute, in Historische Forschungen und Probleme: Peter Rassow zum 70. Geburtstag (Karl E. Born ed., Wiesbaden: F. Steiner, 1961).

Gilman, Daniel C., Alexis de Tocqueville and His Book on America–Sixty Years After, 56 The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine 703-715 (May/October 1898).

Goldhammer, Arthur S., Translating Tocqueville: The Constraints of Classicism.

Gordon, Sheryl, In the Shade of Tocqueville (Dissertation, City University of New York, 2011).

Hansen, Klaus J., The Changing Fortunes of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, 89(1) Queen’s Quarterly 233-237 (Spring 1982).

Heilprin, M., De Tocqueville in the United States, 1 Nation 247-249 (August 24, 1865).

Hoeges, Dirk, Alexis de Tocqueville–Literatur im Zeitalter der Gleichheit, 1982 Siegener Hochschulblätter 44-55.

Jenkinson, Clay, Five Reasons to Read Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.

Josephson, Mathew, A Century After Tocqueville, 14 Virginia Quarterly Review 579-595 (Autumn 1938).

Kasinitz, Philip, Missing Tocqueville? 21(4) Sociological Forum 693-694 (December 2006).

Keane, John, Why Read Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”?  The Conversation, April 27, 2015. 

Kessel, Eberhard, Das Tocqueville-Problem: Eine Auseinandersetzung mit der neuesten Literatur, 1 Jahrbuch für Amerikastudien 168-176 (1956).

Kimball, Roger, Tocqueville TodayThe New Criterion Online.

Kimball, Roger, Tocqueville Today, 19(3) New Criterion 4-11 (November 2000).

King, Richard H., Arendt, Tocqueville, and Cold War America, in Arendt and America 89 (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

Lawler, Peter Augustine, Democracy and Its Friendly Critics: Tocqueville and Political Life Today (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005).

Lawler, Peter Augustine, Tocqueville at 200, 35(2) Perspectives on Political Science  68-72 (Spring 2006).

Le Strat, Claire, and Willy Pelletier, La canonisation libérale d’Alexis de Tocqueville (Paris? Syllepse, 2005)

Leroy, Maxime, Tocqueville est-il actuel? 2 Preuves 72-74 (juin 1952).

Lukacs, John, Alexis de Tocqueville: A Historical Appreciation, 5(1) Literature of Liberty 8-42 (1982).

Maguire, Matthew William, The Conversion of Enlightenment (Dissertation, Harvard University, 1999).

Maguire, Matthew William, The Conversion of Imagination: From Pascal Through Rousseau to Tocqueville (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006). Based on the author’s dissertation.

Mancini, Matthew, Alexis de Tocqueville and American Intellectuals: From His Time to Ours (Totowa NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005)(American Intellectual Culture Series).

Mancini, Matthew, Alexis de Tocqueville’s Post-Civil War Reputation, 43 (1) Society 75-81 (November/December 2005).

Mann, Golo, Tocqueville und das Amerika von heute, 5 Jahrbuch für Amerikastudien 11-25 (1960).

Marshall, Lynn L., and Seymour Drescher, American Historians and Tocqueville’s Democracy, 55(3) The Journal of American History 512-532 (Dec. 1968).

Mélonio, Françoise, Editions recentes de Tocqueville, 13(2) Tocqueville Review 185-188 (1992).

Mill, John Stuart, Democracy in America, 72 Edinburgh Review 1-48 (October 1840).

Mill, John Stuart, De Tocqueville on Democracy in America, 2 London Review 85-129 (October 1835).

Mill, John Stuart, Dissertations and discussions, political, philosophical, and historical. Reprinted chiefly from the Edinburgh and Westminster reviews (2d ed.; London: Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer, 1867). Includes M. de Tocqueville on democracy in America in volume 2.

Mill, John Stuart, Dissertations and discussions political, philosophical, and historical (NY: Henry Holt, 1874-1882). Five volumes. “Reprinted mainly from the Edinburgh and Westminster reviews.” Essay on Tocqueville appears in volume two.

Mill, John Stuart, Essais sur Tocqueville et la société americaine (Paris: J. Vrin, 1994)(Bibliotheque des textes philosophiques).

Mill, John Stuart, The philosophy of John Stuart Mill: ethical, political, and religious (Marshall Cohen ed.; NY: Modern Library, 1961)(The Modern Library of the World’s Best Books; 322)> Includes M. de Tocqueville on democracy in America.

Mill, John Stuart, Sobre la libertad y comentarios a Tocqueville (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1991)(Coleccion Austral. Serie: Pensamiento A183). Translation of On Liberty.

Ohana, David, From Rousseau To Tocqueville: Janus Face of Modernity, in The Intellectual Origins of Modernity 29 (Routledge, 2019) (Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought).

Ostrom, Vincent, Problems of Cognition as a Challenge to Policy Analysts and Democratic Societies, 2(3) Journal of Theoretical Politics 243-262 (1990).

Pease, Donald E., After the Tocqueville Revival; Or, the Return of the Political, 26(3) Boundary 2: An International Journal of Literature and Culture 87-114 (Fall 1999).

Pitney, John J., Jr., The Tocqueville fraud, 1(9) Weekly Standard 44-45 (November 13, 1995).

Pozzi, Regina, Élites e processi di modernizzazione: Guizot e Tocqueville dinanzi alla storia inglese, in Il pensiero gerarchico in Europa. XVIII-XIX secolo, 251-267 (2002).
Pozzi, Regina, Guizot et Tocqueville face à l’histoire anglaise, 22(2) The Tocqueville Review 155-172 (2001).

Przychodzen, Janusz, Tocqueville mis en scène par Vadeboncoeur, ou…de l’Amerique (non) democratique, 29(2) Études Littéraires 49 (Autumn 1996).

Reinhardt, Mark, The art of being free: taking liberties with Tocqueville, Marx, and Arendt (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997)(Contestations).

Res Publica, Relire Tocqueville, No. 40 (January 2005).

Roebuck, John Arthur, Democracy in America (London: Charles Ely, 1835). Commentary on Democracy in America and a review published in the London Review.

Roebuck, John Arthur, [Commentary], in Democracy in America (London: Charles Ely, 1835).

Salomon, Albert, Tocqueville, Moralist and Sociologist, 2 Social Research 405-427 (1953).

Saucier Guay, Mathieu, Marcel Gauchet critique d’Alexis de Tocqueville (M. A. Thesis, University of Ottawa, 2010).

Sidgwick, Henry, Miscellaneous essays and addresses (London and NY: Macmillan, 1904). Includes Supplement: Alexis de Tocqueville, an essay first published in Macmillan Magazine, November 1861.

Spears, Monroe K., Tocqueville in 1989,  42(3) Hudson Review 369-381 (Autumn 1989).

Splaine, John, Tocqueville’s Journey on C-SPAN, 32(2) PS:Political Science and Politics 197-202 (June 1999).

Strout, Cushing, A Note on Degler, Riesman and Tocqueville, 16 American Quarterly 100-102 (Spring 1964).

Stackelberg, Jürgen von, Bemerkungen zur Sekündärliteratur über Alexis de Tocqueville, 6 Romantisches Jahrbuch 1953/1954.

Tillery, Alvin B., Jr., Reading Tocqueville Behind the Veil: African American Receptions of Democracy in America, 1835-1900, 7 American Political Thought 1-25 (Winter 2018).

Varouxakis, Georgios, Guizot’s Historical Works and J. S. Mill’s Reception of Tocqueville, 20 History of Political Thought 292-312 (1999).

Viotti, Paul R., Jr., Who Cares About Inequality? Liberalism and Distributive Justice in America (University of California, Santa Cruz, 2008).

Walters, Ronald G., Reforming Tocqueville, 9 Tocqueville Review 283-295 (1987/1988).

Whitfield, Stephen J., A century and a half of French views of the United States, 56(3) Historian 531-542 (Spring 1994).

Wiener, Jon, Professors, politics, and pop (London and NY: Verso, 1991)(The Haymarket series). Includes Tocqueville, Marx, Weber, Nixon: Watergate in Theory.

Wills, Garry, Did Tocqueville “Get” America? The New York Review of Books, April 29, 2004.

Zachman, John R., Autonomy, Authority, and Liberty: The Politics of John Stuart Mill (Dissertation, Duke University, 2006). Includes discussion of Mill’s writings on Tocqueville.