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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fake Tocqueville Rides Again

Scott S. Smith writes at Investor's Business Daily:
Search the Internet for two words — Tocqueville quotes — and you get 436,000 references to Alexis de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America," published in two volumes in France in 1835 and 1840.
The 900-page English version is full of sharp observations such as:
• "A democracy can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury."
As this blog has explained, Tocqueville wrote no such thing.  

At the Washington Post, Ed Rogers used the same spurious quotation, but later corrected it.

The moral of the story: get Tocqueville quotations from Tocqueville, not Google.