|/Alexis de Tocqueville|
Yesterday's presentation at the Monday Afternoon Club was on the journey of Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont around what there was of America in 1831-32.
The journey took nine months and the two young men, they were both in their twenties, traveled thousands of miles by horseback, steamboat, stagecoach, and on foot. They visited 17 out of the 24 states in the Union, including a brief stop here in Louisville.
Unfortunately, the two men were traveling down the Ohio River from Cincinnati on a steamboat in December and the river soon was blocked by ice. The passengers were cast off onto shore and the two fellows had to walk the final 22 miles to get here.
The upshot of the journey - at once one both physical and intellectual - was Tocqueville's Democracy in America.
This 1000-page book is not one that I have read, but it has intrigued me as it is often quoted (and most likely misquoted). The presenter of the paper said her father first read it at the age of 80 and thereafter read it multiple times. So it is never too late.
If you are interested, there is an abridged version (208 pages) and a couple of different Kindle versions which would be easier to lug around than that unabridged paperback edition.
Is Democracy in America on anyone's TBR list? Or has anyone read it? Chime in...