Democracy in America: Volume One is probably the most well known work of Alexis De Tocqueville, a French author and philosopher. It is the author's examination of the social and political systems of the United States.
Tocqueville's book was a major success upon its release and immediately became popular in both Europe and the United States. It is still considered one of the greatest pieces of political science literature ever written about the United States, and is a foundational text for the further study of the subject matter. It is a well written and highly readable book.
The author had visited America on assignment to investigate the penal system, and while conducting his assigned research Tocqueville took a great interest in the larger political system of America. The book is divided into chapters which each focus on a different aspect of the American political and social system. The author approaches his subject matter thematically, highlighting major themes including the distinct spheres of American life, the influence of the country's Puritan foundation, and the importance of the Federal Constitution on daily life. Tocqueville is largely complementary of the American system, and frequently draws on his knowledge of the French system for comparisons.
Democracy in America: Volume One remains an important piece of writing nearly two hundred years after its initial publication. Students of political science, particular in the United States, owe it to themselves to become familiar with Tocqueville's work. Anybody interested in the social and political history of the United States is encouraged to add this work to their library.