Democracy in America Volume 2
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Democracy in America Volume 2

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  268 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Volume 2 of the classic commentary on the influence of democracy on the intellect, feelings, and actions of Americans. With an introduction by Phillips Bradley.
Paperback, 506 pages
Published August 11th 1990 by Vintage (first published 1840)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëWuthering Heights by Emily BrontëA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensThe Three Musketeers by Alexandre DumasThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Best Books of the Decade: 1840s
34th out of 87 books — 49 voters
'Tis by Frank McCourtTeacher Man by Frank McCourtLolita by Vladimir NabokovDomestic Manners of the Americans by Frances TrollopeA Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
Best Europeans in North America
10th out of 30 books — 11 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 680)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Written over 150 years ago, Democracy In America is even more important and compelling today than it was then. This past fall, I had the opportunity to teach a Government class for my college. My class studied the second volume of this invaluable classic. It was such a pleasure to study it through a mentor's eyes. It truly came alive for me in a way that it never had before as I prepared to teach it.

Despite his young age, Tocqueville was a master at understanding human nature. Volume II is fille...more
it's amazing to read a book from so long ago that is so exquisitely detailed about what's going to happen in the future. tocqueville follows democracy through to its most minute consequences and sets forth warnings. many sections of this book were very dense for me, but it was still enjoyable. mostly i appreciated the warning of the gentle power that will eventually permeate from the government throughout all society into the individuals until they become unmotivated to exercise their moral agen...more
Berta  Viteri
La tercera vez que lo leo; esta vez tomando notas en el ordenador...he conseguido reducir los dos tomos a 45 páginas de pasajes que me interesan. Tiempo de cocción de una tesis: mil años.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jul 03, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those Interested in American History and Political Science
De Tocqueville said the first volume of Democracy in America was more about America, the second more about democracy. The introduction by Mansfield and Winthrop, the translators and editors of the edition I read, called it both the best book on America and the best on democracy. The first volume was a popular bestseller in its day, the second a more modest success, and I can understand that. I rated the first volume five stars, this volume is getting quite a bit lower. It's still well worth read...more
I don’t know if I can be as forgiving as others have been in responding to Democracy in America. Tocqueville’s Volume 2 is filled with distracting, generalizing statements comparing an aristocracy to a democracy, amassing every American into unfavorable observations. I have read some book reviews that change how Tocqueville worded his comparisons into a less absolute manner, letting him get away with all of his inflexible, degrading statements. I found that I was so annoyed with his judgments th...more
Now I need to read more about de Tocqueville and critiques of his theory. I have tentative criticisms of his main tenets - mostly questions that I hope someone else might have noticed and studied for me. Perhaps I missed this section, but did he address how the despot produced by equality and democracy interacts with the other branches of our government? I suppose he would say that even if we begin with those three branches checking power, eventually the executive branch will dominate.

And then,...more
L.M. Smith
This book was required reading for my political science class in college but, to my surprise, I found it absolutely fascinating. Alexis de Tocqueville was a Frenchman who visited America shortly after the ratification of the United States Constitution and wrote Democracy In America vol. 1 praising our nation for it's determination, work ethic, and politics. He revisited the country some time later and wrote this book to express troublesome changes that he witnessed from one visit to the next and...more
Jeremy Egerer
Easily one of the six greatest secular books I've ever read. Somehow predicted the rise of socialism and the nanny state, the disappearance of truly great men from the political scene, the concentration of governmental power and its broadness of scope, the rise and dangers of the modern corporation and the mass-media, and the ever-shrinking individual amidst an increasingly dominant equality. Nobody has ever written such powerful and insightful social commentary with such force: Tocqueville is a...more
Dorian Neerdael
Ce deuxième ouvrage sur le système démocratique en Amérique est un peu plus intéressant que le premier. Il quitte le point de vue purement historique, il arrête l'analyse institutionnelle pour se pencher sur les moeurs de la population dans une démocratie. Cela tient assez de la sociologie, mais il y a aussi toute une partie très philosophique, notamment les deux premiers chapitres de la première partie (sur la tendance cartésienne des américains, et sur la relation au dogme).
May 19, 2013 Bob rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: top100
In the first volume, the author described what he saw in the American people and system of government.

In this volume he generalizes more about the future (from his point of view) and centers his thoughts about "democratic ages". He tries to relate the American experience to France. I can understand why he did that, and, if I were steeped in French history, I could probably relate much better to what he was saying. But I am not, and don't.
Dans cette deuxième partie, Tocquville parle moins de l Amérique et prend de la hauteur pour ne plus que s intéresser a la démocratie proprement dite. Je la trouve plus inégale que la première, quoique certains chapitres soient réellement impressionnants de pénétration.
This is a hard and wonderful book. I loved it. This Frenchman in 1840 could see the very soul of men 150 years ahead of his time.
Livre tres interessant sur les Etats Unis, tres lucide en ce qui concerne son fonctionement et son avenir.
A prophetic book about the mindset of Americans -- including their virtues and potential vices.
An interesting look at 19th century American culture . . .
Dan Markham
Knocked this one off over breakfast
read at St. John's College
History at its best
Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
Bruce L.
Bruce L. marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
Micheal Burford
Micheal Burford is currently reading it
Jul 26, 2014
Tonya Trufanova
Tonya Trufanova marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2014
Vicky marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2014
Darrin Tolar
Darrin Tolar marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2014
Emily marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2014
Emily Butler
Emily Butler marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2014
Benedict marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • History of Political Philosophy
  • The Debate on the Constitution : Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches, Articles and Letters During the Struggle over Ratification, Part Two: January to August 1788 (Library of America #63)
  • The End of Racism: Finding Values In An Age Of Technoaffluence
  • The Constitution of Liberty
  • The Age of Napoleon
  • Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad
  • The End of Work
  • Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East
  • Essays: Moral, Political and Literary
  • Natural History: A Selection
  • Race And Culture: A World View
  • Apology/Crito/Phaedo
  • Wealth and Poverty
  • Voltaire: Treatise on Tolerance
  • How to Tell a Story and Other Essays
  • The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama
  • The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao Tzu to Milton Friedman
  • The New Oxford American Dictionary
Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (July 29, 1805 – April 16, 1859) was a French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America (appearing in two volumes: 1835 and 1840) and The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856). In both of these works, he explored the effects of the rising equality of social conditions on the individual and the state in western societies.

More about Alexis de Tocqueville...
Democracy in America The Old Regime and the French Revolution Democracy in America Volume 1 Recollections on the French Revolution Letters from America

Share This Book

“When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education . . . the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . . they neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters.” 77 likes
“It would seem as if the rulers of our time sought only to use men in order to make things great; I wish that they would try a little more to make great men; that they would set less value on the work and more upon the workman; that they would never forget that a nation cannot long remain strong when every man belonging to it is individually weak; and that no form or combination of social polity has yet been devised to make an energetic people out of a community of pusillanimous and enfeebled citizens.” 18 likes
More quotes…