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Facing Up to the American Dream: Race, Class, and the Soul of the Nation Hardcover – August 21, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0691029573 ISBN-10: 0691029571
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Drawing on a rich lode of polling data, policy studies and popular journalism, Hochschild, professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton, probes the essential questions suggested by this book's title. She focuses on the dichotomy in which whites increasingly feel racial discrimination is "slight and declining," while blacks believe the opposite. Both blacks and whites value the American dream; both groups believe that hard work should bring success. Paradoxically, the growing black middle class?in part, because of reality's failure to live up to the high expectations inspired at the peak of the civil rights movement?is more skeptical of the dream than poor blacks. However, the author observes that many poor African Americans "only sort of" believe in the American dream, while many of the "estranged poor"?her preferred term for the "underclass"?reject it. She notes that most of the oft-stigmatized white immigrants from 1880 to 1920 were transformed by civic tides into believers in the dream. Without new politics to alleviate race and class injustice, she warns, we face abandonment of the dream, perhaps leading to a formalization of American hierarchy and a separatist black nationalism.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

At the center of U.S. ideology rests the promise that all Americans have a reasonable chance at success, however defined; Hochschild (What's Fair?: American Beliefs About Distributive Justice, Harvard Univ. Pr., 1990) demonstrates how that promise now faces severe challenge from real and perceived barriers of race and class. Using survey data, essays, ethnographies, and memoirs, Hochschild exposes paradoxes in black and white values and visions. Focusing on blacks, she uncovers a disillusioned, bitter middle class but a lower class that persists in believing in the American dream. Overall, she shows that shared disaffection and hardening black and white views of each other threaten to rend the nation's social fabric. Her work demands thoughtful reading and earnest discussion. Highly recommended for all collections on the United States.?Thomas J. Davis, SUNY at Buffalo
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Studies in American Politics: Historical, International, and Comparative Perspectives
  • Hardcover: 415 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (August 21, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691029571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691029573
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,206,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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