American Dreams

American Dreams

by John Jakes
American Dreams

American Dreams

by John Jakes



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From America's master storyteller and writer of historical fiction comes the epic story of the Crown family--first introduced in the New York Times bestseller Homeland.

As the second generation comes of age, the Crowns strive to find theirplace in a turbulent America which stands at the dawn of a new century. From thespeedways of Detroit to the unbridled glamour of a young Hollywood, to the daringheights of early aviation--theirs is a story of passion and adventure, glory, andambition, with all the wonder, promise, and splendor of...American Dreams.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101209189
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/01/1999
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: eBook
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 118,630
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Jakes is the bestselling author of Charleston, the Kent Family Chronicles, the North and South trilogy, On Secret Service, California Gold, Homeland, and American Dreams. Descended from a soldier of the Virginia Continental Line who fought in the American Revolution, Jakes is one of today’s most distinguished authors of historical fiction.

Table of Contents

1. Actress3
2. Drifter9
3. Paul and His Wife13
4. Ilsa's Worry19
5. A Dream of Speed23
6. Paul's Pictures28
7. The General and His Children33
8. Courage from Carl38
9. Obligatory Scene41
10. Eastbound45
11. Adrift in New York53
12. Fritzi and Oh-Oh59
13. Smash-up64
14. Paul's Anchor70
15. Three Witches and Four Actresses74
16. Grosse Pointe Games82
17. Bad Omens90
18. Confessions96
19. Reunions99
20.Model T109
21. Jinxed?114
22. Tess120
23. Jesse and Carl123
24. Rehearsal for a Tragedy128
25. Tragedy131
26. Closed135
27. Paul and Harry138
28. Boom Times143
29. "Speed King of the World"147
30. A Desperate Call154
31. Savagery159
32. Separation165
33. Postcard from Indianapolis169
34. Ilsa to the Rescue175
35. Biograph181
36. Westward Ho188
37. Blanket Company194
38. Our Heroine201
39. Onward, If Not Exactly Upward204
40. New York Music208
41. Sammy214
42. Signs of Success217
43. Threats223
44. Attack227
45. B.B. Decides232
46. A Toast to War238
47. In the Subway243
48. Further Westward Ho246
49. Welcome to Los Angeles253
50. Wrong Turn261
51. Liberty Rising265
52. Fritzi and Carl271
53. Mickey Finn277
54. No Laughing Matter283
55. Inferno289
56. Carl Mows the Grass293
57. Decision297
58. Loyal307
59. Flying Circus316
60. Viva Villa!320
61. English Edgar328
62. Inceville333
63. Mercenaries340
64. The Day Things Slipped347
65. Crash Landing355
66. Fritzi and Loy361
67. That Sunday365
68. In Belgium377
69. Troubled House385
70. Taking Sides391
71. "Truth or Nothing"395
72. Fritzi and Her Three Men402
73. Revelations409
74. Detroit Again413
75. Million-Dollar Carpet417
76. End of the Party423
77. U-Boat430
78. Winter of Discontent433
79. Air War438
80. Torpedoed442
81. Marching448
82. Troubled Nation454
83. Kelly Gives Orders460
84. Heat of the Moment466
85. Bombs471
86. Casualties476
87. In the Trenches480
88. The Boy484
89. The Unfinished Song485

What People are Saying About This

Kirkus Reviews

"Realistic detail and period color galore keep this swift-moving story grounded in the sunset of a largely agrarian America as the automobile and WWI arrive to shake the republic out of its golden idyll."
--Kirkus Reviews


Before the live chat, John Jakes agreed to answer some of our questions.

Q:  In your opinion, what has been the most exciting time period to live in?

A:  There are any number of historical eras I'd love to visit if I had a time machine: Shakespeare's London (taking in a performance at the Globe), Europe in the age of Napoleon, England in the bawdy Restoration period (but be careful to get your shots first and go armed in the streets after dark). Realistically, though, I feel that the most exciting period will be the 50 or 100 years just ahead, when my 11 grandchildren will find their careers, and live out their lives, in an unpredictable and ever-changing century I wish I could see.

Q:  Why does writing historical fiction appeal to you?

A:  The past, like the present, is packed with dramatic events and colorful personalities, but in writing about the past I have the benefit of decades of scholarship to put the historical record in better perspective than we have for present events in this era of government secrecy, hush-hush diplomatic negotiations, et cetera. There is also a kind of romantic glow to the past as it recedes from us -- certainly not entirely realistic, or justified, if you look at the grim and grimy record of most eras. But this aura is very real for millions nonetheless. Some of this romantic feeling enlivens most good historical fiction, including, I hope, mine.

Q:  What are your favorite five books? Your favorite historical movie?


  1. Great Expectations. Charles Dickens is my No. 1 literary idol, and this is one of his masterpieces (along with Bleak House). It's also one of his most accessible novels. I've just completed the book and lyrics for a musical theater version of the novel (score by composer Mel Marvin), which will have its world premiere at our new $10 million Self Family Arts Center on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, in April 1999. Obviously a labor of love!

  2. The Count of Monte Cristo. Of all the historical novels I read as a youngster, this is the one that hooked me on the form.

  3. Anthony Adverse. Hervey Allen's towering 1933 work may be the best historical novel of this century -- despite its dated and wrongful attitudes toward slavery.

  4. Lonesome Dove. One of the great novels of this century, in my estimation, and possibly the best ever written about the American West.

  5. The Martian Chronicles. This hooked me on science fiction, and Ray Bradbury, whom I tried to imitate with my own SF stories written as a teenager (I sold my first when I was 18).

P.S. This is a very difficult list to make, leaving out some equally deserving favorites such as The Great Gatsby, Hammett, Faulkner, Ragtime, John Dos Passos's U.S.A. trilogy, et cetera.

Film: "Dodge City." The "history" in this 1939 Errol Flynn epic for Warner Bros. is dubious to nonexistent, yet I vividly remember seeing the picture as a seven-year-old kid in Terre Haute, Indiana, where it had an enormous impact, introducing me to the drama and color of the American past.

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