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Description - The Real American Dream by Andrew Delbanco

Since we discovered that, in Tocqueville's words, "the incomplete joys of this world will never satisfy the heart", how have we Americans made do? In this book one of the nation's premier literary scholars searchers out the symbols and stories by which Americans have reached for something beyond worldly desire. a spiritual history ranging from the first English settlements to the present day, the book is also a learned meditation on hope. Andrew Delbanco tells of the stringent god of protestant Christianity, who exerted immense force over language, institutions and customs of the culture for nearly 200 years. He describes the falling away of this god and the rise of the idea of a sacred nation-state. And, finally, he speaks of our own moment, when symbols of nationalism are decline, leaving us with nothing to satisfy the longing for transcendence one sustained by God and nation. From the Christian story that expressed the earliest puritan yearnings to the new age spirituality, apocalyptic environmentalism and multicultural search for ancestral roots that divert our own, this work evokes the tidal rhythm of American history. It shows how Americans have organized their days and ordered their lives - an ultimately created a culture - to make sense of the pain, desire, pleasure, and fear that are the stuff of human experience. In a time of cultural crisis, when the old seem to be faltering, this book offers a lesson in the painstaking of the American dream.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674003835
ISBN-10: 0674003837
Format: Paperback
(190mm x 130mm x 8mm)
Pages: 160
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Sep-2000
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Andrew Delbanco

Andrew Delbanco is the Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University.

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