By Matthew Mancini
Accomplished in its chronology, the works it discusses, and the commentators it seriously examines, Alexis de Tocqueville and American Intellectuals tells the unbelievable tale of Tocqueville's reception in American notion and tradition from the time of his 1831 stopover at to the U.S. to the flip of the twenty-first century.
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Additional info for Alexis de Tocqueville and American Intellectuals: From His Times to Ours (American Intellectual Culture)
It is something made. As such, it is eminently suitable to analysis. That analysis is historical only insofar as one can describe a particular process, namely, the process by which that product or artifact has been fashioned. A useful term for the fashioning of a reputation is reception. Reception, then, is a historical process, reputation a product. But since the reception is ongoing, the product is protean. Its shape and even its seeming essence change constantly as the historical environment in which it is manufactured undergoes transformation.
Charles Capper, ‘‘ ‘A Little Beyond’: The Problem of the Transcendentalist Movement in American History,’’ Journal of American History 85, no. 2 (September 1998): 502–39; subsequent references appear parenthetically in the text. 17. Stephen E. Whicher, Freedom and Fate: An Inner Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1953), 51–57. 18. Robert D. Richardson, Emerson: The Mind on Fire: A Biography (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 453; the exhaustive research conducted by Merton M.
Admittedly, the term de´mocratie, as Tocqueville employed it, is notorious among scholars for its protean character, but general agreement does obtain that he used it to refer to a regime of broad legal and social equality and social mobility. Although Tocqueville observed that the constant agitation of democratic practices and institutions generated rhetoric and associations devoted to the promotion of social reform, it is fallacious to posit a relationship of identity between antebellum reform ideology and democracy.