NEW DATABASE: Democracy In America Is Now Available!

Democracy in America, HeinOnline Updates, What's New
Lauren Mattiuzzo


HeinOnline is proud to partner with Alan Keely, Associate Director for Collection Services at Wake Forest Law Library, to showcase a new and exciting version of Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic work, Democracy in America, complete with more than 1,000 annotations and references. Meticulously researched by Keely, this interactive digital edition takes students and researchers back to Tocqueville’s 1831, providing full-text links to the works Tocqueville read while he traveled, researched, and wrote Democracy in America. Keely’s annotations provide insight into Tocqueville’s thinking, grounding the work within the context in which it was written. Jump from the pages of Democracy in America into the works referenced by Tocqueville with HeinOnline’s unparalleled access to historical content. Pull up full-text images right to the referenced portion and then dive in deeper, easily navigating between both the reference work and Tocqueville’s. Move on to secondary references for more analysis and discussion of the continuing relevance of Democracy in America today.


In 1831, political scientist and historian Alexis de Tocqueville spent nine months in the United States studying the effects of democracy on American society. In 1835, Tocqueville published the first volume of his masterwork, Democracy in America, comparing American democratic practices to what he saw as democracy’s failing in France.

Critical and prescient, Democracy in America is both an observation of America and a warning to it, a study of democracy and the dangers within it, containing the author’s first articulation of what we know today as the Tocqueville effect: that as social conditions improve, societal frustrations increase.


Browse Tocqueville’s Democracy in America in HeinOnline via the tabs at the top of the main landing page. The digital edition is broken into two tabs, one tab for each volume. Standard HeinOnline page navigation, search, export, and other functionality remains at the top of the page in each volume.

In the digital edition, the chapters of Volume I are numbered continuously (Chapter I through Chapter XVIII). But because Democracy in America has been published as two two-volume sets, one two-volume set, and in single volumes over the course of its long history, attempting to find the same chapter in different edition configurations can be challenging. Chapter numbering for the first volume typically follows one of two patterns:

  • Pattern One: Part I (chapters I through VIII) and Part II (chapters I through X)
  • Pattern Two: Chapter I through Chapter XVIII

To convert between Pattern Two and Pattern One, simply take the actual chapter number and subtract 8; from Pattern One to Pattern Two, simply take the actual chapter number and add 8.


The unique Sources feature included in this database directs the user to Keely’s annotations on Tocqueville’s text, with links (when available) to the full text of the material discussed.

As users page through the volume, sources for the current page will automatically expand in a separate window. Click the Sources tab at the top of the table of contents to control the appearance of this automatic function.

Included in the Sources Tab:

  • The volume, page, and line numbers where the source text is discussed
  • The text of the line itself with links (when available) to the full text of the edition cited
  • Full title and publication information of the source being cited
  • Keely’s annotation, with hyperlinks to additional material where applicable

Referenced sources are also highlighted in blue throughout the text. Click on the highlighted text to jump from the digital edition to the full text of the source. This will work for both the source and any material referenced in Keely’s annotation.


Interested in viewing just the Sources found in the digital edition? Navigate over to the Works Cited tab at the top of the screen. This is an A-Z listing of every source linked within the digital edition that is also found in HeinOnline.

Since there are hundreds of different editions of this classic, we’ve started digitizing many different editions and translations and plan to add even more. Head over to the Editions/Translations tab to view editions dating back to 1838, and then if you want even more Democracy, the Related Works tab is a curated list of Tocqueville scholarship and works related to this topic.


Alan Keely, Associate Director for Collection Services at Wake Forest Law Library, is a librarian by profession with a strong background in history and literature. After reading Democracy in America during the summer of 2017, Keely imagined that linking all of the source material which Tocqueville had used or cited when writing his book could add another dimension to the experience of reading the classic. Keely painstakingly researched the book, identified sources, provided analysis and annotations, built the links, and entered all of the data for the digital edition to ultimately create an interactive version featuring citations, links, and extensive editorial notes.


Early bird pricing (one-time payment)……………………………………….$195.00*

One-time payment……………………………………………………………………………..$250.00

*Customers must order by October 1, 2019 for early bird pricing.

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