Is The American Dream Killing You?

A fiercely persuasive warning the ‘the market’ is destroying our society. Stiles desperately hopes we can heal our perspectives before it is too late.

— Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale, and author of The Western Canon

A powerful and disturbing look at the remaking of American life by a new, harsher form of capitalism. To read this eye-opening book is to grasp how the free market’s cold logic is eroding our most cherished human values–and to see clearly what must be done to save America’s soul.

— David Callahan, Senior Fellow, Demos, and author of The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead

These are the quotes on the front and back, respectively, of the newly published book Is The American Dream Killing You? by my old friend Paul Stiles. I wrote a bit about it earlier, here.

What am I going to do with my old friend? I really have to twist and turn to imagine a context where the above quotes don’t mean what I think they do, and Paul’s book is not what I think it is. Well, I have it in hand, now, so I guess I’ll see.

More later.

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  1. Kyle Bennett on October 4, 2005 at 15:10

    I don't envy the position you're in.

  2. Rich on October 4, 2005 at 15:42

    Indeed. I can imagine someone saying something like: "but this is a dear old friend; how can you do this?" Well, anyone who reads this blog knows not only how important ideas are to me, but, in particular, the ideas this book appears to attack.

    The predominate chance is that the book will not create a groundswell of cultural / political change for the worse. So, sure, I could just let it alone. Nobody would be the wiser: except _me_, that is.

  3. damaged justice on October 5, 2005 at 07:23

    If it does turn out to be an anti-capitalist diatribe, the author might wish to examine Claire Wolfe's How to Kill the Job Culture Before It Kills You.

    Reminds me of the maddening degree of hatred and contempt in the childless/having children "debate". Both sides call each other evil and selfish — one for choosing to have children, one for choosing not to. And both, despite being in favor of individual liberty on the surface, end up resorting to claims about one's "duty to society", "duty to planet Earth", etc.

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