Tocqueville's America - and Ours

The McConnell Center Presents: A Year of Alexis de Tocqueville

Over the next year, the McConnell Center invites you to join us in reading and considering Alexis de Tocqueville’s seminal Democracy in America. This book has been understood as a classic consideration of the origins, evolution, and future of democratic self-government in America. Its themes resound as loudly in 2023 as they did more than two centuries ago.

We hope you will dedicate yourself to reading this important work and use the reading guide as an aide in your study. Simply read the assigned section for each month, listen to the accompanying Vital Remnants podcast discussing that reading, and watch the corresponding lecture on our YouTube page or listen to the lecture via the McConnell Center Podcast.

The corresponding lectures will also be available to attend or watch live:  

  • Aug. 26: "Alexis de Tocqueville in Space and Time," Dr. John WilseyVirtual Lecture, 11 a.m.
  • Sept. 19: "The Power of the Particular: Tocqueville's Vision for Stewardship in Place," Ms. Grace Olmstead, Virtual Lecture, 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 19: "What Would Tocqueville Tweet? Democracy, Speech, and Discontent Across Two Centuries," Dr. Jonathan Den Hartog, Samford University, Chao Auditorium, 6 p.m.
  • Nov. 9: "'I am Full of Fears and Hopes': Alexis de Tocqueville on Christianity and the Peril and Promise of Democracy," Dr. Tracy McKenzie, Wheaton College, Chao Auditorium, 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 22: "Robert Nisbet - The 20th Century Tocqueville?" Dr. Brad Birzer, Hillsdale College, Virtual Lecture, 12:15 a.m.
  • Jan. 30: "Why Not Moderation? Letters to Young Radicals" Dr. Aurelian Craiutu, Indiana University Bloomington, Virtual Lecture, 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 8: "Why Associations Matter," Dr. Luke Sheahan, Duquesne University and University of Pennsylvania, Virtual Lecture, 6 p.m. 
  • Feb. 20: "Rights Inflation? Can We Talk Too Much About Rights?" Mr. Trey Dimsdale, Virtual Lecture, 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 27: "The American Dream is a Terrible Thing to Waste - Entrepreneurs and Being Fearless in Today's Economy," Mr. Francisco Gonzales, Virtual Lecture, 5 p.m.
  • March 19: "Native Americans in Tocqueville and His Times," Ms. Kelly Hyberger, Virtual Lecture, 5 p.m.
  • March 22: "Henry Clay and His Tocquevillian Times," Dr. Justin Litke, Virtual Lecture, 12:15 p.m.
  • April 1: "The Soul of Civility," Ms. Alexandra Hudson, Virtual lecture, 6 p.m.