One of the most important books ever written about the French Revolution, this treatise is the work of a celebrated political thinker and historian. Alexis de Tocqueville reveals the rebellion's origins and consequences by examining France's political and cultural environment during the late eighteenth century. His view of the revolution as part of a gradual and ongoing social process, rather than a sudden occurrence, offers timeless insights into the pursuit of individual and political freedom. Originally published in 1856, the survey begins with a consideration of the contradictory opinions surrounding the revolution's outbreak. It takes an in-depth look at the old regime, including its administration, tribunals, official manners and customs, internecine quarrels, and class divisions. Tocqueville explores a range of influences on the rebellion's development, including the political rise of the nation's literary figures, the growth of antireligious attitudes, and the widespread desire for reform and liberty. This modestly priced edition of his scholarly study is essential reading for anyone with an interest in political philosophy, Enlightenment history, and the French Revolution.