Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

American Dreams: Lost and Found
Studs Terkel


In this unique look at one of our most pervasive national myths, Studs Terkel persuades an extraordinary range of Americans to articulate their version of The American Dream. Beginning with an embittered winner of the Miss U.S.A. contest who sees the con behind the dream of success and including an early interview with a highly ambitious Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terkel explores the diverse landscape of the promise of the United States–from farm kids dreaming of the city to city kids determined to get out, from the Boston Brahmin to the KKK member, from newly arrived immigrants to families who have lived in this country for generations, these narratives include figures both famous and infamous. Filtered through the lens of our leading oral historian, the chorus of voices in American Dreams highlights the hopes and struggles of coming to and living in the United States. Originally published in 1980, this is a classic work of oral history that provides an extraordinary and moving picture of everyday American lives.

Paperback, 512pp
New Press, 2005 (1983)
ISBN 9781565845459


STUDS TURKEL (1912-2008) was an award-winning author and radio broadcaster. He is the author of Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American ObsessionDivision Street: AmericaComing of Age: Growing Up in the Twentieth CenturyTalking to Myself: A Memoir of My TimesThe Good War: An Oral History of World War IIWorking: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They DoThe Studs Terkel Reader: My American CenturyAmerican Dreams: Lost and FoundThe Studs Terkel Interviews: Film and TheaterHard Times: An Oral History of the Great DepressionWill the Circle Be Unbroken?: Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a FaithGiants of JazzHope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Troubled TimesAnd They All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc JockeyTouch and Go: A MemoirP.S.: Further Thoughts from a Lifetime of Listening; and Studs Terkel’s Chicago, all published by The New Press. He was a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters and a recipient of a Presidential National Humanities Medal, the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a George Polk Career Award, and the National Book Critics Circle 2003 Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award.