The review in question is “A Tocqueville for Today,” written by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, two ivory tower heavyweights.
Often a foreigner can see America better than we ourselves see it—consider Tocqueville.
And if Tocqueville is right, then Piketty is mistaken, despite the impressive scope and sophistication of his work.
Why was Tocqueville not more alarmed by the economic power that he saw emerging in the early days of American industrialization?
Some five years later, Tocqueville dropped Volume 2—a deeply philosophical yet plainspoken meditation on the party in the USA.
It is easy to-day for the educated man who has read Bryce and Tocqueville to account for the mediocrity of American literature.
We can hardly have a better authority on this point than Tocqueville.
In 1833, when Tocqueville visited America, he was struck by the equal distribution of wealth and the absence of capitalists.
Nothing, Tocqueville has observed, is so conducive to mercy as equality.
Tocqueville himself wrote very cordially to my father upon the subject; and the lectures have been valued by very good judges.