The Myth of the American Dream

The Myth of the American Dream : Reflections on Affluence, Autonomy, Safety, and Power

4.47 (657 ratings by Goodreads)
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2020 ECPA Top Shelf Book Cover Award

Publishers Weekly starred review.
Affluence, autonomy, safety, and power. These are the central values of the American dream. But are they compatible with Jesus' command to love our neighbor as ourselves?
In essays grouped around these four values, D. L. Mayfield asks us to pay attention to the ways they shape our own choices, and the ways those choices affect our neighbors. Where did these values come from? How have they failed those on the edges of our society? And how can we disentangle ourselves from our culture's headlong pursuit of these values and live faithful lives of service to God and our neighbors?
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Product details

  • Hardback | 216 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 22mm | 454g
  • Inter-Varsity Press,US
  • Illinois, United States
  • English
  • 0830845984
  • 9780830845989
  • 1,242,722

Table of contents

Introduction: The Myth of the American Dream

Part One: Affluence

1. The Walls of Rome

2. Who Is My Neighbor?

3. Getting Curious

4. Low, Low Prices

5. How Not to Be a Millionaire

6. Lament for the Land

7. True Generosity

Part Two: Autonomy

8. Liberty

9. The Names We Give

10. Fresh Paint

11. What Is Education For?

12. Paying Attention to My Neighbors

13. The Hospitality of Exiles

Part Three: Safety

14. The Odds

15. Mary, or We Can Never Be Safe

16. The Ship of the Doomed

17. Good Seeds

18. Waking Up Sad

19. The Happiest Place on Earth

Part Four: Power

20. Empire

21. Billboards

22. The Pioneer Mind

23. Signposts

24. Monuments and Memorials

25. Learning from Exiles

Epilogue: How to Live in Empire


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Review quote

"This trenchant Christian critique of American exceptionalism provides an essential, passionate interpretation of the ideals of egalitarianism." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
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About D. L. Mayfield

D. L. Mayfield is a writer and activist who has spent over a decade working with refugee communities in the United States. Her work has been published in McSweeney's, The Washington Post, Christianity Today, Christian Century, Sojourners, Vox, and the Englewood Review of Books. She is also the author of Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two children.
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Rating details

657 ratings
4.47 out of 5 stars
5 61% (402)
4 28% (182)
3 9% (57)
2 2% (11)
1 1% (5)
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