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Acton Line rebroadcast: Alexis de Tocqueville’s enduring insights

Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy In America is renowned as one of the best examinations of early American society and politics, and remains one of the most insightful commentaries ever written on the practice of democracy in the United States. In this edition of Acton Line, John Wilsey, Professor of History and Christian Apologetics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, discusses Tocqueville’s masterwork and its continuing relevance for modern America. Wilsey also addresses the work of Tocqueville’s traveling companion, Gustave de Beaumont, who wrote another important work that should be seen as a companion to Democracy In America: a novel titled Marie, or Slavery in the United States, which examines the darker side of 1830s America.

Check out additional resources for this episode:

Buy Democracy in America: A New Abridgment for Students by John D. Wilsey 

Video: John Wilsey on how to read de Tocqueville’s ‘Democracy In America’

Buy One Nation Under God?: An Evangelical Critique of Christian America by John D. Wilsey 

Video: Samuel Gregg speaks on Tocqueville and Novak at the Heritage Foundation

Read: “What Tocqueville Knew: ‘Democracy in America’ described the corrosive effects of a government that tried to guarantee economic security,” by Samuel Gregg

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Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.