The Russian road to democracy is not going to be easy. In the forty-five-volume edition of Vladimir Lenin’s collected works, the index shows no entry for Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, John Adams, or James Madison. George Washington gets three mentions, but they all relate to well-wishers suggesting that Lenin is the George Washington of Russia. Monroe is listed four times—each time for the Monroe Doctrine, with nothing about the debates over the U.S. Constitution.Read more »
When the American republic was still young, and seemed in the European view to be a daring experiment that might or might not come to anything, Alexis de Tocqueville visited these shores and wrote a book, Democracy in America , which was accepted then and afterward as a brilliant examination of this strange new society. It remains a classic in its field; and now, a full century after its author’s death, a re-examination of what its author really had to say is very much in order.