Entry in progress—B.P.
Wikipedia: American Dream
The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Historian James Truslow Adams popularized the phrase “American Dream” in his 1931 book Epic of America:
But there has been also the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.
And later he wrote:
The American dream, that has lured tens of millions of all nations to our shores in the past century has not been a dream of merely material plenty, though that has doubtlessly counted heavily. It has been much more than that. It has been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class.
Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
American dream noun, often capitalized D
Definition of AMERICAN DREAM
: an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity; also : the prosperity or life that is the realization of this ideal
First Known Use of AMERICAN DREAM
(Oxford English Dictionary)
American dream n. (also American Dream) (with the) the ideal that every citizen of the United States should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.
[a1911 D. G. Phillips Susan Lenox (1917) I. xxiii. 439 The fashion and home magazines‥have prepared thousands of Americans‥for the possible rise of fortune that is the universal American dream and hope.]
1916 Chicago Daily Tribune 7 Feb. 6 If the American idea, the American hope, the American dream, and the structures which Americans have erected are not worth fighting for to maintain and protect, they were not worth fighting for to establish.
1931 J. T. Adams Epic of Amer. 410 If the American dream is to come true and to abide with us, it will, at bottom, depend on the people themselves.
OCLC WorldCat record
The American dream an address by Rabbi Samuel Sobel, the Kiwanis club of Cumberland.
Author: Samuel Sobel
Publisher: [Cumberland?] 1944.
Edition/Format: Book Microform : Microfilm : Master microform : English
New York City • Government/Law/Military/Religion /Health • (0) Comments • Friday, February 17, 2012 • Permalink