24 Jun '11, 6pm

What is the American Dream?: Dueling dualities in the American tradition: via @grist

Throughout our history, there have been alternative, competing visions of the "good life" in America. The story of how these competing visions played out in our history is prologue to an important question: What is the American Dream and what is its future? The issue came up in the early Republic, offspring of the ambiguity in Jefferson's declaration that we have an unalienable right to "the pursuit of happiness." Darrin McMahon in his admirable book, Happiness: A History , will be our guide here. McMahon locates the origins of the "right to happiness" in the Enlightenment. "Does not everyone have a right to happiness?' asked ... the entry on that subject in the French encyclopedia edited by Denis Diderot. Judged by the standards of the preceding millennium and a half, the question was extraordinary: a right to happiness? And yet it was posed rhetorically, in full confiden...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/politics/2011-06-24-what-is-the-amer...

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