Charlottesville, VA (VR) — New Dominion Bookshop (404 E Main St.) will host a book talk and signing with author and UVA professor emeritus Olivier Zunz on Saturday, October 15, from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Olivier Zunz will be speaking about his recent book, The Man Who Understood Democracy: The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville, which was released from Princeton University Press in early May. This in-person event will be free to attend and open to the public. The bookshop recommends arriving early for the best seating.
“Olivier Zunz has written what must surely be the definitive account of the public life of Alexis de Tocqueville.” —Alan Ryan
About the Book: In 1831, at the age of twenty-five, Alexis de Tocqueville made his fateful journey to America, where he observed the thrilling reality of a functioning democracy. From that moment onward, the French aristocrat would dedicate his life as a writer and politician to ending despotism in his country and bringing it into a new age. In this authoritative and groundbreaking biography, leading Tocqueville expert Olivier Zunz tells the story of a radical thinker who, uniquely charged by the events of his time, both in America and France, used the world as a laboratory for his political ideas.
Giving equal attention to the French and American sources of Tocqueville’s unique blend of political philosophy and political action, The Man Who Understood Democracy offers the richest, most nuanced portrait yet of a man who, born between the worlds of aristocracy and democracy, fought tirelessly for the only system that he believed could provide both liberty and equality.
About the Author: Olivier Zunz is the James Madison Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Virginia. He is the author of The Changing Face of Inequality, Making America Corporate, Why the American Century?, Philanthropy in America: A History, and most recently The Man Who Understood Democracy: The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville. His work on Alexis de Tocqueville includes editing The Tocqueville Reader, Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont in America, and Tocqueville’s Recollections (1850-1851). He is also the editor of Reliving the Past, The Landscape of Modernity, and Social Contracts under Stress.
Olivier Zunz has been a Guggenheim fellow and a visiting professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and the Collège de France, among other appointments abroad. He lives with his wife in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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