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.