"That dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement."
The first use of the phrase "American Dream" was in James Truslow Adams's 1931 book THE EPIC OF AMERICA. Of course, Adams was merely naming a thread in American history that stretched from the City on a Hill to Gold Mountain. But today some critics have charged the dream has become purely materialistic while others see its reach limited to a lucky few.
Several years ago The Fetzer Institute, a funder of BILL MOYERS JOURNAL, set out on a quest to reassess the definition of The American Dream asking: Is the American Dream a vision or an illusion? Does social change depend on personal change? What values should the U.S. demonstrate in today's world? Are there ways to think beyond geographic boundaries toward a common dream for our world?
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL joins with The Fetzer Institute in continuing this inquiry in a special online feature. We're asking our guests and our viewers what is their vision for the future of the American Dream and how we can achieve those visions.
> Read the dreams from JOURNAL guests.
> Contribute on our Deepening the American Dream blog.
> Upload your video version of the American Dream.
PLEASE NOTE: THE COLLECTION OF AMERICAN DREAMS WILL LOAD IN THE BLACK WINDOW BELOW IT MAY TAKE SOME TIME BUT ONCE IT IS LOADED YOU'LL BE ABLE TO VIEW ALL CONTRIBUTORS. For a faster load try the Text page.
> Find out more about The Fetzer Institute and its programs.
Picture: "Among the Sierra Nevada, California" by Albert Bierstadt, 1868. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Helen Huntington Hull, granddaughter of William Brown Dinsmore, who acquired the painting in 1873 for "The Locusts," the family estate in Dutchess County, New York