American Dream A Cultural History

ISBN-10: 0815610076
ISBN-13: 9780815610076
Edition: 2012
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Publication date: 8/27/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 241
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.122
Language: English

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, 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.

Lawrence R. Samuel is the founder of Culture Planning LLC, a Miami- and New York-based resource offering cultural insights to Fortune 500 companies and their ad agencies. He is the author of a number of books, including Freud on Madison Avenue: Motivation Research and Subliminal Advertising in America, The American Dream: A Cultural History, and Shrink: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in America.

Introduction
The Epic of America
The Status Seekers
The Anti-Paradise
Born in the USA
The Anxious Society
American Idol
Conclusion
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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