As a young Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville traveled to America in 1831 at the age of 25 to explore the new young republic. Visiting various communities and institutions, de Tocqueville tried to determine what made American democracy unique. After his return to France, de Tocqueville wrote his monumental book Democracy in America.
Democracy in America remains one of the most illuminating and oft quoted studies ever written on American democracy. Few writers, it’s often argued, have captured the essence of American democracy the way de Tocqueville did. During the 2009-10 academic year, SOU has embarked on a year long project using the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville as a springboard to our discussions on American democracy today. Several events throughout the year will focus on the theme. We invite you to join us.