"The American Dream" is one of the most familiar and resonant phrases in our national lexicon, so familiar that we seldom pause to ask its origin, its history, or what it actually means. In this fascinating short history, Jim Cullen explores the meaning of the American Dream, or rather the several American Dreams that have both reflected and shaped American identity from the Pilgrims to the present. Cullen begins by noting that the United States, unlike most other nations,defines itself not on the facts of blood, religion, language, geography, or shared history, but on a set of ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence and consolidated in the Constitution.
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlashcomes an unflinching dissection of the mind of America after 9/11. In this most original examination of America's post-9/11 culture, Susan Faludi shines a light on the country's psychological response to the attacks on that terrible day.
Many American families have not prospered in the new "knowledge economy." The layoffs, restructurings, and wage and benefit cuts that have followed the short-lived boom of the 1990s threaten our deeply held values of justice, fairness, family, and work. These values -- and not those superficial ones political pollsters ask about -- are the foundation of the American dream of good jobs, fair pay, and opportunities for all. In this call to action for families, business, labor, and government, Thomas Kochan outlines ways in which we can empower working families to earn a good living by doing satisfying work while still having time for family and community life. We cannot make the transition to a knowledge economy, writes Kochan, with a workforce that is stressed, frustrated, and insecure. Businesses need to rebuild relationships with their employees based on trust. And working families need to take control of their own destinies. First, we can take action that goes beyond the workplace buzzwords flexible and family friendly to design systems that support productive work and healthy family life. We can invest in better basic education and life-long learning, and we can work toward strategies for creating and sustaining good jobs with portable benefits. We need organizations that value investors of human capital -- their employees -- as highly as they do investors of financial capital, and we need a renewed labor movement to give workers a stronger voice. Kochan lays out an agenda for working families in the twenty-first century that calls for business, labor, government, and workers to come together to make the changes that will allow us all to benefit from the new economy. The solution to our problems, he points out, is too important to be left to "the market."
Today, a significant percentage of human beings are surviving, but can't be described as emotionally and spiritually prosperous. Depression, apathy, interpersonal violence, divorce, vocational dissatisfaction, restlessness, and anxiety are rampant in our materially-blessed society. For all our gadgets, gizmos, and 1,000 TV channels, opinion polls suggest that many of us are not happy campers.In this new thought-provoking and deeply honest book, Unitarian-Universalist pastor MichaelSchuler traces the roots of our unhappiness back to our refusal to confront the long-term consequences of our immoderate choices. Choosing denial and short-term gratification, many Americans have lost their connection with a sustainable life path. To help readers make sustainable living "second nature," Schuler identifies the behavioral principles that make it work -- Pay Attention, Stay Put, Exercise Patience, and Practice Prudence--and shows readers how to apply these principles to their daily lives.
Using recent polling results, this book identifies the core economic components of the American Dream standard of living, financial security, and upward mobility. The authors document the trend in each of these components over the last 30 years, using figures (trend lines and bar charts) based upon the best available data. Collectively, this evidence has alarming implications for the economic fate of those at the bottom of the nation's income distribution. For that group, as the authors show, the American Dream is dying.
In his bestsellerAffluenza, David Wann and his co-authors diagnosed the debilitating disease of over-consumption. InSimple Prosperity he shows readers how we can overcome this disease by investing in a variety of real wealth sources. To recapture a more abundant and sustainable lifestyle, try: - Creating a richer life story through personal growth incentives - Forming higher-yield friendships and stronger bonds through social capital - Taking preventive healthcare measures to build up wellness reserves - Balancing the biological budget through "greener" currency - Caring for people, not just cars, to improve your neighborhood wealth index - Resolving that pesky carbon conundrum through energy savings - Celebrating instead of desecrating! Cultural prosperity futures value the earth as a sacred place In our age of hedge fund hysteria,Simple Prosperity is a new way of investing that will save our sanity and the planet.
Why would a successful American physician choose to live in a twelve-foot-by-twelve-foot cabin without running water or electricity? To find out, writer and activist William Powers visited Dr. Jackie Benton in rural North Carolina. No Name Creek gurgled through Benton's permaculture farm, and she stroked honeybees' wings as she shared her wildcrafter philosophy of living on a planet in crisis. Powers, just back from a decade of international aid work, then accepted Benton's offer to stay at the cabin for a season while she traveled. There, he befriended her eclectic neighbors - organic farmers, biofuel brewers, eco-developers - and discovered a sustainable but imperiled way of life.In these pages, Powers not only explores this small patch of community but draws on his international experiences with other pockets of resistance. This engrossing tale of Powers's struggle for a meaningful life with a smaller footprint proposes a paradigm shift to an elusive "Soft World" with clues to personal happiness and global healing.