“The Best Help I Could Find to Understand Our Present”: François Furet’s Antirevolutionary Reading of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:Chapter     


Chapter Info

DATE

2016

AUTHORS

Michael Scott Christofferson

ABSTRACT

Central to François Furet’s intellectual and political agenda of the 1970s and beyond was the revival of semiforgotten nineteenth-century thinkers who, Furet believed, were incomparably more insightful in their reflections on modern politics and the French Revolution than their twentieth-century academic successors. Although Furet gave significant attention to figures such as Augustin Cochin and Edgar Quinet, none of Furet’s illustrious ancestors was more important to him than Alexis de Tocqueville. This chapter explores Tocqueville’s role in Furet’s thought by examining Furet’s reading of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and use of Tocquevillian concepts in his analysis of the contemporary world, notably politics in France and the United States. It argues that Furet’s reading of Tocqueville was dominated by his own obsessive concern with the danger of revolutionary politics and that the understanding of democratic politics that Furet drew from this reading led him in an increasingly conservative direction in the last decade of his life. More... »

PAGES

85-109

Book

TITLE

In Search of the Liberal Moment

ISBN

978-1-349-72072-9
978-1-137-58126-6

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1057/9781137581266_5

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137581266_5

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1016193072


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