Actually its Alexis Charles Henri Clerel de Tocqueville -(1805-1859)

Arrived in America in May of 1831. He grew up in the period after the French Revolution and the Napoleon empire. He came to America in order to examine the American democracy with the purpose of determining how the American experience could help form developing democratic spirit in France and the rest of Europe. He spent appx nine months travelling throught the country gathering facts and opinions. He spent much of his time interviewing everybody from President Andrew Jackson to the frontiersmen and the Indians. Upon his return to France, Tocqueville reported on the U. S. prison system while his partner, Gustave de Beaumont wrote on the race problem in America.

His book, Democracy in America, was a combination of reporting, personal observation and some philosophizing on his part. The book appeared in two volumes, the first in 1835 and the second in 1840. It is still widely regarded a a valuable commentary on American politics and democracy in general.

The general premise of the book was that while he admired the republican system, he also found many shortcomings. He noted that there were definite class distinctions within America but found that the lines seperating the classes were not as sharply drawn as they were in Europe. His conclusion was based primarily on the interviews he conducted with the upper and middle class. He overlooked much of the poverty that existed in the larger cities. In his "equality of condition", he foresaw a social levelling that would result, in his opinion, in a reign of mediocrity, conformity and what he called the "tyranny of the majority."

While many of his observations hold true to this day, some he missed the mark on. Most notably was his observation that the presidency was a weak office. Some of his observations that seem to be right on the money were that Americans are more addicted to practical matters than that of philosophical matters, the relentless and practically singleminded pursuit of wealth. In his own words - "I know of no country, indeed, where the love of money has taken a stronger hold on the affections of men."

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