Upon returning to his native land after nearly seven years in Europe, James Fenimore Cooper set forth his sometimes caustic views of the new democracy that was the United States of America. The Leather-stocking Tales provided readers more information they craved about the new country. Cooper published The American Democrat, or Hints on the Social and Civil Revelations of the United States of America (1838), now considered his finest nonfiction work. When it first appeared, public opinion on Cooper was so divided that the book almost vanished. As a result, the first edition has become one of the greatest rarities in American Literature. More serious was the outrage caused in his day and ours by Cooper’s thoughts on subjects such as aristocracy, monarchy, and slavery. The American Democrat vindicates some of its author’s more prickly remarks on his fellow Americans, for this is not a book for those seeking platitudes and praise. It is decidedly a book for those willing to ponder the meaning of liberty.
*This volume has been photographically reproduced from the Americana Deserta edition of 1931 and thus preserves the historical authenticity of the original, including typographical errors and printing irregularities.*