The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville

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Event date: Friday April 1, 4:00 PM

Join us for a conversation with Olivier Zunz, UVA Professor of History, and Sophia Rosenfeld, Professor of History, UPenn, about Zunz's new book, The Man Who Understood Democracy: The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville (Princeton University Press, 2022)



Olivier Zunz is the James Madison Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Virginia. He has held visiting appointments at the Collège de France and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. He has received fellowships and research grants from the Ford Foundation, the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation. He is the author of numerous books and his editions of Tocqueville’s works include, The Tocqueville Reader: A Life in Letters and Politics [with A. Kahan] (Blackwell, 2002), Democracy in America, trans. A. Goldhammer (Library of America, 2004, Library of America Paperback Classics, 2012), Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont in America: Their Friendship and Their Travels, trans. A. Goldhammer (University of Virginia Press, 2010), and Recollections (1850-1851), trans. A. Goldhammer (University of Virginia Press, 2017).

Sophia Rosenfeld is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches European intellectual and cultural history with a special emphasis on the Enlightenment, the trans-Atlantic Age of Revolutions, and the legacy of the eighteenth century for modern democracy. She is the author of A Revolution in Language: The Problem of Signs in Late Eighteenth-Century France (Stanford, 2001); Common Sense: A Political History (Harvard, 2011), which won the Mark Lynton History Prize and the Society for the History of the Early American Republic Book Prize; and Democracy and Truth: A Short History (Penn Press, 2019). Her articles and essays have appeared in leading scholarly journals, including the American Historical Review, the Journal of Modern History, French Historical Studies, and the William and Mary Quarterly, as well as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Dissent, and The Nation.