Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Tocqueville and His AmericaA Darker Horizon$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Arthur Kaledin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780300119312

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300119312.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Ambition

Ambition

Chapter:
(p.51) 4 Ambition
Source:
Tocqueville and His America
Author(s):

Arthur Kaledin

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300119312.003.0005

Known for his persistent, painful self-doubt, Alexis de Tocqueville always saw himself at the edge of things. He experienced sharp swings between euphoria and melancholy and brooded much about the question of ambition. A good aristocrat, he tried to avoid being viewed as ambitious, which for him was a bourgeois vice. Tocqueville was a restless, dissatisfied individual who lived in an almost unremitting state of interior agitation and self-doubt. His ongoing confessional, self-portrait stood in contrast to his ideal self. Tocqueville's “beau réve” of leading France from its moral and political morass suggests an undeniable messianic tinge. The issue of ambition also resonated with class meaning, expressing dismay and self-doubt as a result of the silence with which Volume 2 of his book Democracy in America had been greeted by the “grand public.” Tocqueville was reminded several times by Pierre-Paul Royer-Collard to keep his distance from politics. Royer again recommended patience after Tocqueville lost in his first try for a seat in the Chamber of Deputies during the 1837 elections.

Keywords:   self-doubt, Alexis de Tocqueville, melancholy, ambition, self-portrait, France, class, Democracy in America, Pierre-Paul Royer-Collard

Yale Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.