Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study

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03 Apr 2006, 21:10
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Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study of democracy in the United States, believed that a government that centralizes power in one individual or institution is dangerous to its citizens. Biographers claim that Tocqueville disliked centralized government because he blamed Napoleonâ€™s rule for the poverty of his childhood in Normandy.

Which of the following, if true, would cast the most serious doubt on the biographersâ€™ claim?
(A) Although Napoleon was popularly blamed at the time for the terrible living conditions in Normandy, historians now know that bad harvests were really to blame for the poor economic conditions.
(B) Napoleon was notorious for refusing to share power with any of his political associates.
(C) Tocqueville said he knew that if his father had not suffered ill health, his family would have had a steady income and a comfortable standard of living.
(D) Although Tocqueville asserted that United States political life was democratic, the United States of the nineteenth century allowed political power to be concentrated in a few institutions.
(E) Tocqueville once wrote in a letter that, although his childhood was terribly impoverished, it was not different from the experience of his friends and neighbors in Normandy.
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03 Apr 2006, 22:20
IMO E.

Biographers claim that T hates centralized govt because his childhood was ruined by Napolean, but if T's friends also had bad childhood then it disproves the Biographers claim.

- Vipin
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03 Apr 2006, 22:29
I'm going with C. C provides another reason for Tocqueville's childhood poverty other than Napolean. Thus the biographers' claim that Napolean was the cause of Tocqueville's poverty is weakened.
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04 Apr 2006, 00:28
Also think that C is correct.
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04 Apr 2006, 01:08
The author concluded that T hated centralized gov because of his childhood experience of poverty under Napoleon's rule.

Once we can find another reason that caused poverty irrespective of Napoleon, it can weaken authours' claim.

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04 Apr 2006, 01:20
Go with C as well. C gives another reason for poverty which leads us to doubt whether it was Napolean's rule that was the reason for poverty.
04 Apr 2006, 01:20
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