Rethinking the American Dream

Published on by The Inquirer

Closing a Summer Cottage, Quogue, New York, a 1957 Norman Rockwell art-directed Colorama by Ralph Amdursky and Charles Baker. © 2009 Kodak, courtesy of George Eastman House. The photographs in this article are Kodak Coloramas that were exhibited at New York’s Grand Central Terminal from 1950 to 1990.

 

by David Kamp

Along with millions of jobs and 401(k)s, the concept of a shared national ideal is said to be dying. But is the American Dream really endangered, or has it simply been misplaced? Exploring the way our aspirations have changed—the rugged individualism of the Wild West, the social compact of F.D.R., the sitcom fantasy of 50s suburbia—the author shows how the American Dream came to mean fame and fortune, instead of the promise that shaped a nation.



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