Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Harvey C. Mansfield & Delba Winthrop, eds. and trans., 2000) (1835).
Tocqueville’s work remains the most important historical study of American democracy. The Mansfield and Winthrop translation, with an extensive introduction, was released in 2000, but there are many good editions of this great classic. It addresses a host of important issues for Christian lawyers, including the role of government, the nature of democracy, the role of religion in society, the place of social institutions, and the nature of the American legal profession. “Tocqueville’s work allows us to see that the “culture wars” are not simply a product of 1960s radicalism. They are rooted, rather, in the permanent tension between theory and practice at the heart of American Democracy—a tension that no one has better elucidated than Alexis de Tocqueville.” Daniel J. Mahoney, Tocqueville’s Democracy, The Weekly Standard, October 23, 2000, at 36, 38.