Raymond BOUDON, 2. Tocqueville for Today, Paris, Odile Jacob, 2006, , 2006
Oxford, The Bardwell Press, 2006
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 1859) was the author of one of the most influential works in social science, Democracy in America – still read as a guide to understanding American society, and in print ever since. Raymond Boudon, one of France’s leading sociologists and for many years a proponent of Tocqueville’s ideas, has written this book to comemorate the bi-centanary of his birth. As he says, ‘‘ the first thing which struck me in reading Tocqueville was the feeling that he is our contemporary… he established a new way that broke with that of his contemporaries – and many of ours – and which has continued to have relevance for the social sciences of today ’’. Boudon shows that Tocqueville’s ideas are of vital importance to current issues – problems of state centralization in France, why Americans are more relegious than their counterparts and why the overwhelming desire for equality has led to so many problems in modern societies.