This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.View all copies of this ISBN edition:
Since we discovered that, in Tocqueville's words, "the incomplete joys of this world will never satisfy the heart," how have we Americans made do? In The Real American Dream one of the nation's premier literary scholars searches out the symbols and stories by which Americans have reached for something beyond worldly desire. A spiritual history ranging from the first English settlements to the present day, the book is also a lively, deeply learned meditation on hope.
Andrew Delbanco tells of the stringent God of Protestant Christianity, who exerted immense force over the language, institutions, and customs of the culture for nearly 200 years. He describes the falling away of this God and the rise of the idea of a sacred nation-state. And, finally, he speaks of our own moment, when symbols of nationalism are in decline, leaving us with nothing to satisfy the longing for transcendence once sustained by God and nation.
From the Christian story that expressed the earliest Puritan yearnings to New Age spirituality, apocalyptic environmentalism, and the multicultural search for ancestral roots that divert our own, The Real American Dream evokes the tidal rhythm of American history. It shows how Americans have organized their days and ordered their lives--and ultimately created a culture--to make sense of the pain, desire, pleasure, and fear that are the stuff of human experience. In a time of cultural crisis, when the old stories seem to be faltering, this book offers a lesson in the painstaking remaking of the American dream.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
The Real American Dream: A Meditation on Hope is a jewel of a book by Andrew Delbanco. It distills the spiritual history of the United States into three short chapters: "God," "Nation," and "Self." Delbanco writes that the history of hope in America is a history "of diminution." In Puritan New England, "the self expanded toward (and was sometimes overwhelmed by) the vastness of God." Between the rise of Constitutional Democracy and the post-World War II Great Society, citizens' hopes "remained implicated in a national ideal lesser than God but larger and more enduring than any individual citizen." And today, Delbanco believes, "hope has narrowed to the vanishing point of the self alone." But The Real American Dream is still cautiously optimistic in its final analysis of our self-centered society. "[T]he sense of fairness and decency for which the American people are regularly complimented by their politicians is actually real and abiding. Against all odds, the live issues of our day are still sometimes debated with dignity." --Michael Joseph GrossAbout the Author:
Andrew Delbanco is the Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Harvard University Press. Condition: New. Brand New. Seller Inventory # 0674003837
Book Description Harvard Univ Press. Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Softcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Veteran Owned Bookshop in business since 1992!. Seller Inventory # 2669859
Book Description Harvard University Press, 2000. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0674003837
Book Description Harvard University Press. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0674003837 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0253168
Book Description Harvard University Press, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0674003837n