Cover: Travels with Tocqueville Beyond America, from Harvard University PressCover: Travels with Tocqueville Beyond America in HARDCOVER

Travels with Tocqueville Beyond America

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$39.95 • £34.95 • €36.95

ISBN 9780674275607

Publication Date: 03/21/2023


544 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

11 illus.


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Jennings offers a sweeping account of the nineteenth-century French aristocrat. Through a thorough examination of Alexis de Tocqueville’s personal correspondence, the author has produced a biography not only of the man in question, but also of his close friend and fellow political scientist Gustave de Beaumont. Their stories are intertwined and, in Jennings’s eyes, an understanding of their relationship is integral to understanding Tocqueville’s work… Jennings excels in his treatment of the relationship between Tocqueville and Beaumont.—Oliver-James Campbell, Times Literary Supplement

In a magisterial biography, [Jennings] retraces the footsteps of Tocqueville, not just across America, but on his other foreign excursions—always with a notebook in hand and driven by a voracious intellectual curiosity… A highly readable introduction to the work of one of the 19th century’s most insightful political theorists, as well as a persuasive defence of his ideas.—Toby Young, The Spectator

Tocqueville, an aristocrat at heart—despite his serious liberal commitments—who liked to associate with people in similar positions and was influenced by them, nonetheless appears in Jennings’ portrait as a discerning tourist… Americans, he perceived, shared an implicit belief in human perfectibility… This kind of observation is what makes Tocqueville such a rewarding author to read.—Nick Burns, New Statesman

[As] Jennings illustrates in his new book, not only were Tocqueville’s extensive wanderings remarkable for their variety and length. He looked at cities ranging from Manchester to Quebec City and countries as different as Ireland and Switzerland through an uncommon lens… Without his penchant for travel, Tocqueville would not have been the figure whose ideas continue to fascinate and stimulate.—Samuel Gregg, Engelsberg Ideas

A superb study of the distinctive character of Tocqueville’s mind. Few scholars are as well equipped as Jennings to offer such penetrating insights into the origins of Tocqueville’s comparative method of political analysis.—Arthur Goldhammer, translator of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and The Ancien Régime and the French Revolution

This is intellectual biography at its best. Following Tocqueville on his many travels, and drawing extensively on his letters and journals, Jennings offers an erudite and riveting new portrait of the great liberal thinker whose influence is still keenly felt on both sides of the Atlantic.—Ruth Scurr, author of Napoleon: A Life Told in Gardens and Shadows

Guiding us along Tocqueville’s paths through North America, Europe, and North Africa, Jennings deftly analyzes his abundant and meticulous notes on each place that he visited. At every turn, this book considerably enriches our understanding of Tocqueville’s democracy as inherently comparative.—Olivier Zunz, author of The Man Who Understood Democracy: The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville

This is what many of us have waited for: a readable and engaging account of Tocqueville’s myriad travels and their impact on his intellectual development. Written by one of the leading experts on French political thought, it is at once impeccably researched, insightful, and thought-provoking. In short, a brilliant book.—Helena Rosenblatt, author of The Lost History of Liberalism: From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century

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