From America’s call for a free press to its embrace of the capitalist system, Democracy in America — first published in 1835—enlightens, entertains, and endures as a brilliant study of our national government and character. Philosopher John Stuart Mill called it “among the most remarkable productions of our time.” For today’s readers, de Tocqueville’s concern about the effect of majority rule on the rights of individuals remains deeply meaningful. His shrewd observations about the “almost royal prerogatives” of the president and the need for virtue in elected officials are particularly prophetic. His profound insights into the great rewards and responsibilities of democratic government are words every American needs to read, contemplate, and remember.
Translated by Henry Reeve and with an Introduction by Joseph Epstein