chapter  19
Tocqueville and Riesman (2000)
Pages 15

The author brings Tocqueville and Riesman together for a number of reasons. One is of course the clear connection between their two major works, Democracy in America, and The Lonely Crowd, as important interpretations of American society. Democracy in America is the most prominent and successful nineteenth-century analysis of the new American democratic and egalitarian society, a book as influential today as it was one hundred and fifty years ago. The Lonely Crowd makes good claim to as exalted a role as an analysis of what that society became in the twentieth century, now drawing to an end. The central position of these two books as major interpretations of American society would be sufficient warrant for considering them together, but there are other parallels of lesser weight between Tocqueville and Riesman, and the two books that made them famous. These two books are now considered works of sociology.