The American Dream

The American Dream

A Cultural History

eBook - 2012
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Lightning Source, Inc. Ebooks
There is no better way to understand America than by understanding the cultural history of the American Dream. Rather than just a powerful philosophy or ideology, the Dream is thoroughly woven into the fabric of everyday life, playing a vital role in who we are, what we do, and why we do it. No other idea or mythology has as much influence on our individual and collective lives. Tracing the history of the phrase in popular culture, Samuel gives readers a field guide to the evolution of our national identity over the last eighty years. Samuel tells the story chronologically, revealing that there have been six major eras of the mythology since the phrase was coined in 1931. Relying mainly on period magazines and newspapers as his primary source material, the author demonstrates that journalists serving on the front lines of the scene represent our most valuable resource to recover unfiltered stories of the Dream. The problem, however, is that it does not exist, the Dream is just that, a product of our imagination. That it is not real ultimately turns out to be the most significant finding about the Ameri­can Drea, and what makes the story most compelling.

Book News
Author and cultural consultant Lawrence R. Samuel presents this analysis of the history of the "The American Dream" as a driving concept in social development in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Tracing the use of the phrase itself from its origin in 1931, through a series of re-introductions into the popular discourse over time, the work examines media and journalism on the subject and explores the effects of a "dream" narrative, ultimately untrue and unrealizable, on class and the development of American culture. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Syracuse : Syracuse University Press, 2012
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780815651871
Characteristics: 1 online resource
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