Interpreting The American Dream

Leach, Eugene E.
Date published: 
July 2006

The phrase 'The American Dream' is everywhere - it shows up in advertising slogans, and scholarly books, in patriotic oratory and in casual conversation. No cliché in American culture is more ubiquitous, yet none has been less examined. In this book, Leach conducts a historical inquiry into what Americans have meant when they talk about the American dream, construed broadly as the way in which they have conceived the promise of their country. Leach contends that the American Dream has been both more and less coherent than casual uses of the phrase suggest: more, in that 'American Dreaming' has contained several constant themes since the Eighteenth-century; less, in that there has been no singular and specific American dream shared by the country's diverse population.