Tocqueville Today

~ People, Places & Books ~

C-SPAN first developed an interest in Tocqueville after his name kept appearing in books featured on C-SPAN's Booknotes program. It doesn't seem to matter whether the writer is conservative or liberal; Tocqueville's writings have been used to advance or illustrate causes at both ends of the political spectrum. There are now more than 50 Booknotes books that reference Tocqueville.

Politicians also frequently quote Tocqueville. But the most commonly used quote may not have been said by Tocqueville at all. Scholars have been unable to locate the lines "America is great because America is good ..." in Democracy in America or in anything else that Tocqueville wrote. This frequent misquote was the subject of John J. Pitney, Jr.'s article, The Tocqueville Fraud. Below is a sampling of how Tocqueville has been used.


Supreme Court


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