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How the Pandemic May Revive the Original American Dream

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Once upon a time, the American Dream had little to do with climbing the ladder of success or having the financial resources to own a house or retire to a warm sunny place.

When James Truslow Adams articulated the American Dream in 1931, in fact, he did not praise the value of ambition or advocate the pursuit of wealth, thinking instead that it was exactly those things that had led Americans astray in the 1920s and ultimately caused the Great Depression.

Rather than being about the opportunity to get rich, own a piece of property, work for oneself, or some other later interpretation, Adams defined the American Dream as “the inherent right to be restricted by no barriers” outside those of one’s own construction.

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