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A nation's destiny is not the result of arbitrary fate but the inevitable consequence of the values to which its people subscribe. Attitudes with regard to personal excellence, individual accomplishment, and self-control predict national periods of rise, ascendancy, and decline.The people who flocked to America's shores between 1620 and 1900 weren't looking for a handout. All they wanted was the liberty to do the best they could with their lives. It was given to them, and they turned the U. S. into a land of ...
A nation's destiny is not the result of arbitrary fate but the inevitable consequence of the values to which its people subscribe. Attitudes with regard to personal excellence, individual accomplishment, and self-control predict national periods of rise, ascendancy, and decline.The people who flocked to America's shores between 1620 and 1900 weren't looking for a handout. All they wanted was the liberty to do the best they could with their lives. It was given to them, and they turned the U. S. into a land of promise.A people's values are evident in the literature they create. The most popular works of 150 years ago were filled with stories of self-reliance, faith, honesty, perseverance, and victorious achievement. The modern media, by contrast, careens from one "crisis" to the next, with an emphasis on helplessness and victimization. Government expands its following by offering to "help" the citizen with things that he ought to be dealing with himself.The old emphasis on self-reliance made America great. Will the modern emphasis on dependency destroy us?
Chapter One: The Achieving SocietyIntroduction: McClelland's Prediction of the Japanese Miracle of the 70sThe Need for AchievementThe Achievement-Oriented PersonalityAchievement Orientation: the Source of Social and Economic ProgressChildhood Experiences: The Source of Achievement MotivationThe Values of An Achieving SocietyConclusion: The Situation in Japan Chapter Two: The Cycles of HistoryIntroduction: The Nature of Historical CyclesContent Analysis and Historical CategoriesLooking for the Achievement Motive in HistoryThe Need for Achievement: Historical ExamplesFindings for Modern SocietiesThe Need for Achievement in Ancient GreeceAncient Greece: Examples from the LiteratureThe Death of Achievement MotivationEnglandConclusion: Changes in a Society's Values Predict Its FateChapter Three: The Appearance of CharacterIntroduction: Religious Faith and CharacterThe Rule of St. BenedictThe Protestant ReformationThe Appearance of IndividualismThe Protestant EthicWork and the Quest for PerfectionThe Fleeting MomentFidelity and Honesty and FamilyAttitudes Towards MoneyPersonal Character and Economic ProgressPersonal Character and Political FreedomChapter Four: The Literature of HopeIntroduction: Personal Values and the Rise of AmericaFrom Rags to Riches in Colonial AmericaMcGuffey's ReaderThe Philosophy of AchievementThe Last HurrahChapter Five: The Age of AchievementIntroduction: Achievement Motivation and Nineteenth Century GrowthAndrew CarnegieCharacter and the Creation of an IndustryThe Mind of the MillionaireCarnegie the Philanthropist John D. RockefellerA Study in CharacterInnovator and PhilanthropistPersonal Character and National Prosperity Chapter Six: Director's LawIntroduction: The Attack on Character and AchievementThe New Aspirations (the result of widespread prosperity)The New Villains (the myth of the "Robber Barons")The New Model (the welfare state of Bismarck's Germany)The New Regulation (the anti-trust laws)Guilt by AssociationLabor RelationsThe New Class (government bureaucracy)Chapter Seven: The Literature of DespairIntroduction: The death of Elbert Hubbard on the Lusitania marked thepassing of faith in the achieving individual Elbert Hubbard Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)George Babbit (Sinclair Lewis) The New PriesthoodScientific ManagementMary Parker FollettElton MayoJohn DeweyConclusion: The Decline of Faith in the IndividualChapter Eight: The Great DescentIntroduction: Early in the twentieth century politicians began to Portray themselves as the bringers of prosperity The Great DepressionThe Great DespairThe New OrientationThe Great LiarThe Great TyrannyThe Great WarConclusion: The Great TragedyChapter Nine: The Literature of CrisisIntroduction: The US has become a crisis-oriented societyGrowing Up Absurd (the 1950s)The Greening of America (the 1960s and 70s)The Endless CrisisThe New CrisesThe Politics of CrisisThe Voice of Crisis (the modern media) Conclusion: Crisis and CharacterChapter Ten: The Administrative SocietyIntroduction: Americans' tendency to think of themselves as helplesschildren,the disappearance of character, and the decline of freedomThe New WealthThe Welfare StateThe Redefinition of PropertyThe New MoralityThe Bureaucratic StrangleholdThe Dangerous ApathyThe Disappearance of CharacterDestroying the FutureConclusionConclusion: Character and the Future Introduction: Since I am going to make a prediction, I want to spell outthe assumptions on which it is basedMy AssumptionsThe Individual and SocietyThe Meaning of CharacterThe Roles of Literature and GovernmentThe Age of DescentAttitudes Toward AchievementThe Ruling ClassesBeginning with the ChildrenGreek Values at the Beginning of the EndAmerica: Renewal or DeclineOn the Verge of DeclineThe Hope for RenewalNotesIndex