The Old Regime and the Revolution is Alexis de Tocqueville's great meditation on the origins and meanings of the French Revolution. One of the most profound and influential studies of this pivotal event, it remains a relevant and stimulating discussion of the problem of preserving individual and political freedom in the modern world. Alan Kahan's translation provides a faithful, readable rendering of Tocqueville's last masterpiece, and includes notes and variants which reveal Tocqueville's sources and include excerpts from his drafts and revisions. The introduction by France's most eminent scholars of Tocqueville and the French Revolution, Françoise Mélonio and the late François Furet, provides a brilliant analysis of the work.
This is a new translation of Tocqueville's last masterpiece, written in 1851. Best known as the author of Democracy in America, Tocqueville focuses here on the meaning and origin of the French Revolution. This volume is organized into three major subjects. First, it looks at the nature of the French Revolution. Second, it examines the origins of the revolution in an absolutist and aristocratic society. Finally, it considers the reasons for the sudden outbreak at the end of the 18th century. Tocqueville discusses the continuity of French political behavior in relation to persistent class hostility, government centralization, and the preservation of individual and political freedom. This book surpasses older editions of English translations because of its readability and because it is based on the French critical edition that includes the author's sources and materials from his drafts and revisions. Kahan (Florida International Univ.) is also translating the work's second volume, which is to be published in 1999 by the University of Chicago. Recommended for academic libraries.--Mary F. Salony, West Virginia Northern Community Coll. Lib., Wheeling