The Real American Dream: A Meditation on Hope Important People
Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis de Tocqueville was a famed French political observer and historian who visited American in the 1830s. He was drawn to America to learn more about its democracy. De Tocqueville had personal reasons for his attraction to America. His father had been imprisoned during the French Revolution. Each day, his father would force himself to nap at a certain hour because it was during that hour that the guards would decide to select a random prisoner for the guillotine. So many years after he was freed, his father was still haunted by the horror he had lived through. De Tocqueville wanted to visit America, a place where that kind of abusive experience could theoretically never exist.
De Tocqueville had a love/hate relationship with this new country. While he wanted to observe the free nation first-hand, he probably had a sense that America and democracy wasn't all that it was cracked...