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Tocqueville and His AmericaA Darker Horizon$
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Arthur Kaledin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780300119312

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300119312.001.0001

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The Birth of a Book

The Birth of a Book

(p.273) 11 The Birth of a Book
Tocqueville and His America

Arthur Kaledin

Yale University Press

Alexis de Tocqueville describes the experience of writing his book Democracy in America as a colossal emotional struggle. He likens its writing to a journey over “un autre terrain,” a journey on which he embarked quite by himself. The difficulty of writing the second volume of Democracy in America was not only due to the pressure of other commitments, including local political life and his responsibilities in the Chamber of Deputies in France. He even suspended his writing for a few days due to fatigue, something he complained to Gustave de Beaumont. Considering what he had to go through to finish the book, it may be considered a heroic feat. It was a product of powerful ambition combined with physical courage, force of will, a great dream, and unwavering self-confrontation.

Keywords:   political life, Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Chamber of Deputies, Gustave de Beaumont, France

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