ABOUT THIS BOOK
With his monumental work The Old Regime and the Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)-best known for his classic Democracy in America— envisioned a multivolume philosophic study of the origins of modern France that would examine the implications of French history on the nature and development of democratic society. Volume 1, which covered the eighteenth-century background to the Revolution, was published to great acclaim in 1856. On the continuation of this project, he wrote: "When this Revolution has finished its work, [this volume] will show what that work really was, and what the new society which has come from that violent labor is, what the Revolution has taken away and what it has preserved from that old regime against which it was directed."
Tocqueville died in the midst of this work. Here in volume 2—in clear, up-to-date English—is all that he had completed, including the chapters he started for a work on Napoleon, notes and analyses he made in the course of researching and writing the first volume, and his notes on his preparation for his continuation. Based on the new French edition of The Old Regime, most of the translated texts have never before appeared in English, and many of those that have appeared have been considerable altered. More than ever before, readers will be able to see how Tocqueville's account of the Revolution would have come out, had he lived to finish it. This handsomely produced volume completes the set and is essential reading for anyone interested in the French Revolution or in Tocqueville's thought.