XWe have detected your location as outside the U.S/Canada, if you think this is wrong, you can choose your location.

Palgrave Macmillan

The Politics of the American Dream

Democratic Inclusion in Contemporary American Political Culture

ISBN 9781137289056
Publication Date January 2013
Formats Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

What is 'the American Dream,' and why is it ubiquitous in today's political rhetoric? In this thought-provoking book, Ghosh analyzes the integral role of the American Dream in contemporary American politics. He argues that the Dream's central political function is its ability to offer a politics of democratic inclusion that traces a middle ground between multiculturalism and state-neutrality. One compelling reason for the popularity of the concept is that its roots can be traced back to the primordial values of the nation: work, virtue, and happiness. Political elites across the ideological spectrum refer to the Dream in their appeals, but Ghosh concludes that in doing so they rely on very different interpretations of the Dream's basic tenets. Clear and evocative, The Politics of the American Dream is essential reading for both scholars and observers of contemporary American political culture.

Cyril Ghosh is Visiting Assistant Professor at Mt. Holyoke College, USA.

1. What is the American Dream?
2. The Rhetoric of Democratic Inclusion
3. The American Dream as 'Lockean Sympathy'
4. Constitutive Elements of the Dream
5. The Politics of Multiple Meanings
6. The American Dream in the 21st Century


'The American dream is a political Rorschach test, a flexible cultural trope, an ideological icon or whipping post, and an economic measuring stick. Despite its many meanings and uses, however, it is not an empty phrase but rather a powerful symbol of – something. In this profound and elegant book, Cyril Ghosh fills in the 'something.' He melds political philosophy, American history, textual analysis, and new ideas into a genuinely novel and important analysis. I learned a great deal from this book, as will all other readers.' - Jennifer Hochschild, Professor of Government, Harvard University
'From the Puritans to contemporary electoral discourse, Cyril Ghosh has provided a provocative and creative examination of various invocations and meanings of the American Dream across the political spectrum. Ghosh finds implications for contemporary issues involving undocumented workers, the Occupy movement, the Tea Party, and negotiating the politics of identity.' - Carol Nackenoff, Richter Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College
"If you want to understand American political culture you need to understand the concept of 'the American dream.' And to understand the origins, history and deployment of our most powerful rhetorical device, there's no better place to turn than Cyril Ghosh's well-written analysis in Politics of the American Dream.' – Dalton Conley, University Professor, New York University and author of Elsewhere, USA
Add a review

Related titles