TOCQUEVILLE, ALEXIS DE Democracy in America.
New York: Adlard and Saunders, George Dearborn & Co., 1838 (volume I) ; J. & H.G. Langley, 1840 (volume II). First American editions of both volumes. Publisher's non-uniform purple-black and brown cloths respectively, the first volume with cream, the second with yellow coated endpapers. 8 3/4 x 5 1/2 inches (22 x 14 cm); xxx, 464 pp.; xx, 355,  pp. The first volume with the spine toned to brown, ink stain just touching the lower half of the joint, head and toe of the spine slightly chipped, boards a bit faded and soiled. Name of E.R. Potter in ink on the title (noted Rhode Island lawyer and politician). The second volume with the binding in rather fresh condition, light wear to the foot of the spine. Scattered foxing, mostly marginal, throughout. Overall a rather good set. As the works were bound by different publishers in different years, they are not uniform.
Translated by Henry Reeve from the French, the volumes bear the prefaces by John Canfield Spencer, Secretary of War in the Tyler administration. Alexis Charles Henri Clérel, comte de Tocqueville travelled in America in 1831 for nine months, and the first volume of his penetrating study of American democratic institutions appeared in 1835; the second was issued in 1840. It was well received both in France and America, and remains a classic work of political and social science. It has been called "at once the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America." Howes T278-9; Sabin 96064-5.
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