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Publishers WeeklyAuthor and former president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Bulkeley (Dreaming Beyond Death) takes a step beyond the metaphor of "The American Dream" by asking, "How does the metaphorical American Dream relate to the literal dreams of Americans when they sleep each night?" His method is to examine ten Americans who, for a year, are subjected to surveys, interviews and dream journaling. Admitting that his research is no "perfect mirror of a nation of 300 million" (lacking, as also admitted, any Hispanics, African-Americans, Midwesterners, Deep Southerners, Evangelicals, Jews or Muslims) Bulkeley mines dream journal excerpts for their significance in each subject's political and everyday lives. The extent to which "people's political views are reflected in the form and content of their dreams" turns out, unsurprisingly, to be variable ("only the dreamer can ever know for sure what his or her dreams mean"), and Bulkeley's broader generalizations fall flat; still, it's an insightful look at the role dreams play in political thought for a group of (white) middle-of-the-road Americans.
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