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I read this book, originally, back in 2011, when it was published. I am planning on using it for my Intercultural Communications class for the next year (the election year) to help compare and contrast what is expected from our different cultures and our country. It is a nice overview of the economic perspective, the ethnic perspective, the gender perspective, and the religious perspective. Im looking forward to the papers that will be written and the discussions that will occur in class. Several quotes (but not all...that struck me...):Writing in 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville declared that the Americans he encountered had acquired or retained sufficient education and fortune to satisfy their own wants. Tocqueville added that they owe nothing to any many6, they expect nothing from any man, they acquire the habit of always considering themselves as standing alone, and they are apt to imagine that their whole destiny is in their own hands. (2)In some important sense, there have been as many American Dreams as there have been Americans, and, thanks to immigration, American identity has been something as much imagined and acquired as it has been inherited, reborn with every new citizen. (20)One could use the following somewhat tautological axiom as a thesis statement: The political party in closer touch with the American Dream is more likely to acquire and hold on to power. (28)...linked the American Dream to the many positive attributes associated with freedom: self-reliance, self-improvement, risk taking, drive, discipline, temperance, hard work, thrift, and personal responsibility...are rooted in a basic optimism about life and a faith in free will - a confidence that through pluck and sweat and smarts each of us can rise above the circumstances of our birth. (41-42)Ironically, the worse race relations got, the more whites blamed blacks for the situation. Such occupations as cutting white hair disappeared as black jobs. Washers and dryers replaced black launderers, and gas heat eliminated interaction with black coal men. Black neighbors had already disappeared. The lack of contact resulting from this increasing segregation and exclusion allowed whites to demonize African Americans and their segregated enclaves. People living the white dream came to fear the black nightmare. Anti-Semitism rose, too, even among people who had never met a Jew...especially among people who had never met a Jew. To this day, public opinion polls show that many non-black Americans - especially those who live in towns that have few African Americans whom they might get to know as individuals - still believe negative generalizations about blacks, at least when these are phrased politely.(67)...the American Dream and this glue that binds us together may be unraveling, as we see a growing wealth gap, ongoing race inequality, an expanding poor immigrant population, and continued sexism in all aspects of American life...The definition of the American Dream is multifaceted. Does the Dream refer to wealth, religious freedom, freedom of expression, political reform, educational attainment, or access to housing and health care? [...] It is presumed that those who do not achieve are less worthy and work less hard...Cullen 2003 suggests that this loyalty to a Dream that does not exist is a blind loyalty. (78)...those whose reduced expectations have been forced upon them by the loss of higher-paying jobs. These were the angry male voters of the 1990s. Over time, their acceptance becomes more complete, anger diminishes, and the realization cannot be denied that food must still be put on the table and that life goes on. Their world has changed, and there is no use fighting it./These folks are the core group of new consumers. They say: I have a shrinking dollar, so you are going to have to give me the best I can get for it. They have helped pave the way for the retail dominance of Walmart, Costco, and Target. Retailers have been forced to adapt. Here is an example that hit home for me. Twenty or so years ago when I bought my young sons a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, it cost $21.99. Now, you get it for $7.99. (108)

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