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Individual Choice and the Structures of History
Alexis de Tocqueville as Historian Reappraised

$49.99 (C)

  • Date Published: February 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521024150

$ 49.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Alexis de Tocqueville is recognized as one of the most important nineteenth-century historians. In this perceptive study, Harvey Mitchell examines afresh Tocqueville's works, including the Souvenirs of 1848 and his voluminous correspondence, to shed new light on his philosophy of history. Tocqueville's concern with historical forces and individual choice emerge as central to his work. Professor Mitchell reveals in Tocqueville a unity of thought and a deep involvement with the philosophical questions raised by historical continuity and change.

    • The first study of Tocqueville as a philosopher of history
    • Uses the full range of his writings, from well-known works to correspondence to notes and book reviews
    • Deals with central questions of historical philosophy: individual choice versus historical forces, liberty and democracy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...an elegantly erudite reappraisal of Tocqueville as a historian....Mitchell provides an enticing introduction to Tocqueville....we can be grateful to historians like Mitchell." The Vancouver Sun

    "This book is based on a wide and sensitive reading of the primary and secondary literature. Recommended for all university libraries." Choice

    "This is an important contribution to the expanding universe of Tocqueville scholarship. Harvey Mitchell has seized upon a major dilemma in the study of Tocqueville...Mitchell is at his very best." American Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521024150
    • length: 308 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.471kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments
    Part I. Introduction:
    1. Frameworks
    Part II. Paradoxes in Tocqueville's Idea of History:
    2. Towards a theory of history
    3. Tocqueville's conceptualisation of moral choice and the particular
    Part III. Plotting Crisis and Change:
    4. Tocqueville's uses of intentionality and necessity in the 'Souvenirs'
    5. Towards the history of 'L'Ancien Régime et la Révolution'
    6. Three faces of history in democracy in America
    Part IV. Historian of the Breakdown of the Old Society:
    7. Tocqueville on the general laws of revolution
    8. The aristocratic ethos on the defensive
    9. Ideas and public opinion
    Part V. Epilogue:
    10. Further reflections
    Select bibliography, Index.

  • Author

    Harvey Mitchell, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

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