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.
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The American Dream: A Cultural History | Reviews in History
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Write a review Rate this item: Preview this item Preview this item. Lawrence R Samuel Publisher: Syracuse University Press, First edition View all editions and formats Rating: Subjects National characteristics, American. View all subjects More like this User lists Similar Items. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private.
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Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Electronic books History Additional Physical Format: Document, Internet resource Document Type: Lawrence R Samuel Find more information about: But Samuel is not a professional scholar. One more piece of context: Samuel is an unusually prolific writer. This is a remarkable output even for an author who is not doing archival research.
Besides The American Dream in , Samuel published another book in and two more in One wonders how he does it; The American Dream includes no acknowledgments. One of the ironies here is that while Samuel is a fluid writer who pitches his work toward a general audience, his books are all published by small presses, usually academic ones, which typically measure sales by the hundred. There seems to be a real disconnect between readers, writers, and publishers here.
Such a regime may makes sense in an academy that understands itself as a self-conscious elite with different interests than a culture at large, but few scholars like to think of themselves that way, certainly not humanities scholars who like to imagine that their work can be part of a larger conversation about the nature and future of their societies.
The American Dream : a Cultural History
One imagines that for Samuel, at least, a full bibliography is a useful marketing tool: I will confess that I find the idea of writing books as a business strategy distasteful. On the other hand, most professional scholars consider their books important credentials on the road to jobs and promotions. In that regard, their interests are no less pecuniary, even if writing is more central to their identities.
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Books have always been deeply enmeshed in capitalist systems. But somehow they seem to matter less on their own terms than they once did. But that dream appears to be dying, at least in its current form. Perhaps it will be resurrected in virtual form online though this book is not available in an e-book edition.
The American Dream: A Cultural History
But I wish him well, if for no other reason than to believe a life of the mind is economically viable outside the prim confines of the academic quad. I would be very interested to hear more about how he understands and practices what he does, and where his sources of hope are.
Skip to main content. A Cultural History Lawrence R. A Cultural History , review no. In the introduction, he writes: The Real American Dream: