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What Boston's Brahmins Taught Tocqueville About Democracy05:39
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Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis de Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville is one of the most quoted but least understood early thinkers of American democracy. The Frenchman traveled across the United States in 1831 and later published his masterpiece, "Democracy in America."

While Tocqueville visited a bustling New York, an up-and-coming Detroit and the antebellum South, it was Boston that provided him with the intellectual keys he needed to understand why America's particular form of democracy works. We talk with biographer and Harvard professor Leo Damrosch about what Boston's Brahmins had to teach Tocqueville about America.

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