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Individual choice and the structures of history : Alexis de Tocqueville as historian reappraised

Author: Harvey Mitchell
Publisher: Cambridge ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, ©1996.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Alexis de Tocqueville is recognized as one of the most important nineteenth-century historians. In this study, Harvey Mitchell examines afresh Tocqueville's works, in particular the Souvenirs of 1848 and his voluminous correspondence, to shed new light on Tocqueville's philosophy of history. Professor Mitchell exposes the tensions which Tocqueville perceived between determined actions and choice, continuity and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Biographies
Named Person: Alexis de Tocqueville; Alexis de Tocqueville; Alexis de Tocqueville; Alexis de Tocqueville; Alexis de Tocqueville; Alexis de Tocqueville; Alexis de Tocqueville; Alexis de Tocqueville
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Harvey Mitchell
ISBN: 0521560918 9780521560917
OCLC Number: 33105085
Description: xiii, 290 p. ; 23 cm.
Contents: 1. Frameworks --
2. Toward a theory of history --
3. Tocqueville's conceptualization of moral choice and the particular --
4. Tocqueville's uses of intentionality and necessity in the Souvenirs --
5. Toward the history of L'Ancien Regime et la Revolution --
6. Three faces of history in Democracy in America --
7. Tocqueville on the general laws of revolution --
8. The aristocratic ethos on the defensive --
9. Ideas and public opinion: the formation of a new ethos --
10. Further reflections
Responsibility: Harvey Mitchell.
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Abstract:

Alexis de Tocqueville is recognized as one of the most important nineteenth-century historians. In this study, Harvey Mitchell examines afresh Tocqueville's works, in particular the Souvenirs of 1848 and his voluminous correspondence, to shed new light on Tocqueville's philosophy of history. Professor Mitchell exposes the tensions which Tocqueville perceived between determined actions and choice, continuity and change, asking what happens to individual liberty if it is impossible to make a clean break with the past, and if past developments continue to influence the future. Professor Mitchell argues that it was Tocqueville's related concern with liberty in a modern democratic age which led him to write his L'Ancien Regime et la Revolution. Drawing on the full range of Tocqueville's writings, Individual choice and the structures of history reveals in them a unity of thought and a deep involvement with the philosophical questions raised by historical continuity and change.

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