The American Dream
Stories From the Heart of Our NationBook - 2001
The American Dream is inherently inclusive, and has the power to strike a chord in all of us. It defines us as a people, even as we add to its meaning with each new chapter in our national experience and our individual actions. [This book] is the result of my quest to discover the American dream as your neighbors are creating it today -- I hope that you receive it well. And I wish all of you the best in bringing your own dreams to fruition.
--Dan Rather, from the Introduction
An inspirational look at how our nation's earliest ideals resonate in today's world, The American Dream shows us in very personal terms that America is still a place where hard work, dedication, and vision can transform dreams into reality. Bestselling author and award-winning journalist Dan Rather provides a powerful look at Americans who struggle for and achieve their desires and ambitions. He has gathered the stories of ordinary men and women who are accomplishing the extraordinary, and demonstrates how the American dream guides us as individuals and as a society, binding us together, even amid the fragmenting and self-isolating tendencies of modern American life.
Each person in this book exemplifies the American dream, living and expressing this national ideal in his or her own way. For some the American dream is simply to own a home or start a family. Some wish to serve God, country, or community; to teach; to test boundaries; to rise out of poverty. Some yearn to live off the land or run their own business. Some want to learn to read or earn a college degree. There are those who work to achieve fame and fortune, while still others simply wish to exercise fundamental American rights:
to openly practice their religion, to speak what is in their minds and hearts, and to protest.
Stirring and provocative, The American Dream illustrates that the basic American desire for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is alive and well. It also confirms what our founding fathers always believed: that we are a country of visionaries, in ways big and small.