There is no better way to understand America than
by understanding the cultural history of the American Dream. Tracing the
history of the phrase in popular culture, Larry
Samuel gives readers a field guide in The American Dream: A Cultural History(Syracuse Univ, $24.95) to the evolution of our national identity over the last
eighty years. 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, Samuel reveals, 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 and what makes the
story most compelling.
Published: Syracuse University Press - August 27th, 2012
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.