With The Old Regime and the Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote what remains the essential history of the French Revolution. Yet historians have found it nearly impossible to trace the evolution of Tocqueville's ideas because he chose not to disclose his sources.
Drawing on his unprecedented access to Tocqueville's papers—access made possible by the late French historian Francois Furet—Robert T. Gannett Jr. reveals the ingenuity of Tocqueville's analyses of issues such as landownership, administrative centralization, and public opinion in prerevolutionary France. He also sheds light on the benefits Tocqueville reaped from unexpected intellectual encounters with such authors as Burke, Constant, and Dareste de la Chavanne. A literary detective at work, Gannett tracks Tocqueville as the author himself tracked the French Revolution—and brings him to life as a meticulous historian and an ardent defender of liberty.
An ideal companion to The Old Regime and the Revolution, Volumes 1 and 2, both published by the University of Chicago Press, Tocqueville Unveiled will be a valuable resource for revolutionary historians and Tocqueville enthusiasts alike.