Friday, May 22, 2009

de Tocqueville on Slavery




"The danger of a conflict between the white and the black inhabitants of the Southern states of the Union (a danger which, however remote it may be, is inevitable) perpetually haunts the imagination of the Americans, like a painful dream. The inhabitants of the North make it a common topic of conversation, although directly they have nothing to fear from it; but they vainly endeavor to devise some means of obviating the misfortunes which they foresee. In the Southern states the subject is not discussed: the planter does not allude to the future in conversing with strangers; he does not communicate his apprehensions to his friends; he seeks to conceal them from himself. But there is something more alarming in the tacit forebodings of the South than in the clamorous fears of the North."

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/1_ch18.htm

7 comments:

  1. Great painting of Tocque. The more I read about the Brogan bio the more I'm tempted to buy it. Tocque came across as too much of a royalist in Democracy of America. He was pretty harsh on "The Age of Jackson," but he made many prescient remarks.

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  2. Gintaras, I was trying to find the quote that Goodwin uses in her book but couldn't find it. But just scanning through that chapter on race was very interesting. I think Chartres is on to something about reading this at some point. I don't think I own a copy of the book, but it's easy enough to read online I suppose. The biography also sounds interesting.

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  3. Speaking of biography, received an email from Amazon.com this a.m. with a book they highly recommend for me -- Nixonland, which I actually have on order already (not from them).

    Robert, have you read this one?

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  4. I got Nixonland in the mail the other day, and it looks good. Our great "law and order" president which Pynchon skewers in Vineland.

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  5. Funny how that works, isn't it?

    I think I read that the author is at work on the third in his trilogy about the rise of conservatism in America. Watching California threatening to sink into the Pacific, I'm beginning to wonder if the nation will ever recover from the so-called Reagan revolution. The hard thing to accept is that voters brought it all on themselves.

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  6. By the way, the "recent comments" section is working fine for me now. It's really helpful.

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  7. I see nothing in the recent comments section. Maybe it has something to do with my Internet settings.

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