More than three-quarters of a century after it was first commissioned, the project to publish Alexis de Tocqueville’s Oeuvres complètesremains, ironically, incomplete. He only lived to be fifty-three. He composed almost everything he wrote over little more than twenty-five years. It is difficult to be sure who is to blame most for this lamentably sluggish progress. There are so many deserving candidates for opprobrium. Countless editors at the Commission Nationale; generations of directors at Gallimard; time-serving bureaucrats and flunkies at the Centre National des Lettre,

 
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