Nearly 200 years after Alexis de Tocqueville's famous book, "Democracy in America," was published, the work continues to be a cultural and political touchstone for students and politicians alike.
On The Daily Circuit Tuesday, Jan. 22, we'll discuss what Tocqueville discovered on his travels in America that resonates with the average citizen and what an outsider's view tells us about our political system.
Peter Schotten, professor of government and international affairs at Augustana College, will join the conversation.
"It's an enormously fascinating clinical study about strengths and weaknesses of democracy, and the democratic experience in America," he said. "Democracy in the west is still a relatively new idea, historically. The idea of self-government and this new experience was just fascinating to de Tocqueville. He felt moved to examine it because he sees it as a kind of inevitable future movement around the world. He's sort of a physician of democracy; he's examining it, taking stock of its abilities."
Paul Rahe, professor of history at Hillsdale College, will also join the discussion.
READ MORE ABOUT TOCQUEVILLE:
In the footsteps of Tocqueville (Atlantic)
Soft despotism, democracy's drift: What Tocqueville teaches today (Heritage Foundation)
Sorry, conservatives, de Tocqueville did not call the 2012 election (Atlantic)
Postcards from the edge: Tocqueville's letters home (New York Times)