Beyond the American Dream: Lifelong Learning and the Search for Meaning in a Postmodern World

Overview

The final decade of the second millennium has issued a flourish of books foretelling the end of everything from science to history. In the first decade of the third millennium, books about new beginnings will take their place. Is it a time for despair or hope? Many of today's social critics deplore the effects of multiculturalism in spawning a postmodern era. One observer, however, finds reason to celebrate, claiming it's about time we looked beyond the confines of our ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $16.96   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$16.96
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(984)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
1998-09-01 Hardcover New New-It is Brand NEW and in its NEW dust cover. It is free from any foreign markings.

Ships from: Rockford, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

The final decade of the second millennium has issued a flourish of books foretelling the end of everything from science to history. In the first decade of the third millennium, books about new beginnings will take their place. Is it a time for despair or hope? Many of today's social critics deplore the effects of multiculturalism in spawning a postmodern era. One observer, however, finds reason to celebrate, claiming it's about time we looked beyond the confines of our king-of-the-mountain value system to a broader plane of understanding.

In his newest book, Charles D. Hayes submits that the American Dream we've learned to champion is an insufficient aspiration for human beings. Cultural expectations create social reality. "If having must come at the expense of being," he asserts, "then you and I are missing the best part of life, and our culture is the worse for it."

Reaching the top--at any cost, by the current model--has outlived its usefulness as a goal in human society. Those who make it, remain unfulfilled. Those who don't, become marginalized and resentful. "Through the power of our intellect," says Hayes, "we can begin living off the interest of our biological world instead of continuing to eat away at the principle. Either we improve society through our ideas or we perpetuate its deterioration through a lack of them."

A sophomoric sense of citizenship might reason this way: "Since I wasn't alive during slavery I bear no responsibility for it." Certainly it is senseless to blame ourselves for what happened before we were born, but Hayes maintains, "We do have a responsibility toward what is. If you and I are the beneficiaries of an unjust system stemming from the biases, prejudices, and atrocities of the past then we have an obligation to remedy the unfairness." Beyond the American Dream points the way to rising above the lockstep patterns of our culture and assuming our rightful roles as thoughtful, responsible citizens.

In failing to truly value individual thought and reflection, our society guarantees that an ever-increasing number of citizens will practice neither. As in his previous works, Hayes urges readers to take control of their own learning and to adopt self-directed inquiry as a lifelong priority. "Education should be regarded not as something you get," he says, "but as something you take. Self-education is the lifeblood of democracy, the key to controlling your life, and a means to living your life to its fullest."

Beyond the American Dream illustrates these ideas in practice. Offering fresh insight on the wisdom of great thinkers from Aristotle to Alan Watts, together with a tantalizing juxtaposition of ideas that can't help but foster reflection, Hayes demonstrates how the sensual pleasures of learning can be inherently more satisfying than anything posing as entertainment. He gives compelling evidence that America's greatest treasures are found, "not in our shopping malls but in our libraries."

Certain that the greatest means we have of persuading others is to live by the example we advocate, Charles Hayes challenges each of us to re-evaluate our values and to amend our ambitions accordingly. Beyond the American Dream is a thoughtful summons to awaken from the New Age doctrines that have so engulfed our culture. It is a book about the meaning of meaning and implores us to find purpose in life by leaving the world a better place than we found it.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780962197925
  • Publisher: Autodidactic Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1998
  • Edition description: 1998 First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 365
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface xiii
Introduction 1
Chapter 1 American Dreams 7
Origins 7
1796 8
1846 11
1896 12
1946 14
1996 15
King of the Mountain 17
The Race to the Top 19
Merit and Value 21
Evaluation of Worth 23
Mountain Fever 26
Climbing Strategies 29
Delusions at High Altitude 30
Life at the Bottom of the Mountain 32
Chapter 2 Conquering Mountains 37
The Other Side of the Mountain 37
Purpose and Meaning vs. High Ground 41
Morality 43
Relativism 45
Finding a Moral North 48
Building Better Mountains 52
Deceptive Paths 57
Making Our Own Way 59
Expanding Awareness 61
Learning to Reason 66
Creating a Better Life 75
Chapter 3 Culture and Questions of Value 81
Culture in Perspective 81
Lessons of History 90
Individual Interpretations 94
History as Social Progress 96
Public Attention, Private Confusion 102
Chapter 4 Perception and Beliefs 111
Religion and Reality 119
Postmodernism and Meaning 122
Belief and Ethnocentrism 129
Truth and Sacred Texts 131
Chapter 5 Biological Patterns vs. Social Patterns 133
From Self-Deception to Nationalism 133
Bigotry and Racism 136
Political Correctness 139
The Desire to Matter 142
Our Relationship with Authority 144
The Environment 152
Knowledge as a Resource 155
Population Growth 157
Chapter 6 Social Patterns vs. Intellectual Patterns 159
Social Prophets and Biographical Life 161
Socially Constructed Reality 170
Personal Realities 174
Self-Serving Perception 177
The Power of Mind-Sets 179
Ethnocentrism and Interdependence 182
Chapter 7 Economics vs. Quality of Life 187
Economics in Context 189
Ideology 191
Self-Interest and Free Markets 202
Models for the New Millennium 206
From Kings of the Mountain to Citizens of the World 226
Economics and Global Prosperity 228
Human Rights 231
Chapter 8 Rising to the Role of Citizen 235
Social Ideology and Personal Reality 244
Life Beyond Symbols 245
Quality of Life through Self-Restraint 248
Intellect Is Higher Than Culture 254
Morality and the Human Family 257
Wonder vs. Boredom 261
Eternal Return: Wanting To Be the Person You Are 267
Chapter 9 Self-Reliance in a Postmodern World 271
Accepting Responsibility 275
Posterity in 2046 277
The Key to the Future 279
Moving Beyond the Dream 283
Raising the Final Curtain 289
A New Ethic: Lifelong Learning 296
Notes 303
Bibliography 333
Index 357
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)