The three star review is NOT for the text itself - Tocqueville writes insightfully and lucidly on a wide range of topics. If you are a casual reader looking to read Democracy in America, get this. It is cheap, and a good read which will help you look at politics in a new way. If you are getting this book for academic purposes however, do not buy this edition. It is an abridged version (I know it doesn't say this on the description or the cover, but look at the page count: 416, where the other editions come in at around 1000). Several passages, indeed several chapters, are missing, and the chapters are in the wrong order, so citing the book in essays is nightmarish. I found that I had to cross-reference it with a freely available but badly edited online version whenever I wanted to quote it.