STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., Jan. 22, 2013 — Congratulations to Cyril Ghosh, a visiting assistant professor in Wagner College’s Department of Government & Politics, whose new book, “The Politics of the American Dream: Democratic Inclusion in Contemporary American Political Culture,” was published earlier this month by Palgrave Macmillan.
What is “the American Dream,” and why is it ubiquitous in today’s political rhetoric? In this thought-provoking book, Ghosh analyzes the integral role of the American Dream in contemporary American politics. He argues that the Dream’s central political function is its ability to offer a politics of democratic inclusion that traces a middle ground between multiculturalism and state-neutrality. One compelling reason for the popularity of the concept is that its roots can be traced back to the primordial values of the nation: work, virtue, and happiness. Political elites across the ideological spectrum refer to the Dream in their appeals, but Ghosh concludes that in doing so they rely on very different interpretations of the Dream’s basic tenets. Clear and evocative, “The Politics of the American Dream” is essential reading for both scholars and observers of contemporary American political culture.
Cyril Ghosh earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in international relations from Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India, and master’s and doctor’s degrees from Syracuse University, with specializations in political theory, American politics, and methods. He has taught at the New School, NYU, Reed, Smith and Mt. Holyoke.
PRAISE FOR ‘THE POLITICS OF THE AMERICAN DREAM’
The American dream is a political Rorschach test, a flexible cultural trope, an ideological icon or whipping post, and an economic measuring stick. Despite its many meanings and uses, however, it is not an empty phrase but rather a powerful symbol of … something. In this profound and elegant book, Cyril Ghosh fills in the ‘something.’ He melds political philosophy, American history, textual analysis, and new ideas into a genuinely novel and important analysis. I learned a great deal from this book, as will all other readers. — Jennifer Hochschild, Professor of Government, Harvard University
From the Puritans to contemporary electoral discourse, Cyril Ghosh has provided a provocative and creative examination of various invocations and meanings of the American Dream across the political spectrum. Ghosh finds implications for contemporary issues involving undocumented workers, the Occupy movement, the Tea Party, and negotiating the politics of identity. — Carol Nackenoff, Richter Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College
If you want to understand American political culture you need to understand the concept of ‘the American dream.’ And to understand the origins, history and deployment of our most powerful rhetorical device, there’s no better place to turn than Cyril Ghosh’s well-written analysis in “Politics of the American Dream.” — Dalton Conley, University Professor, New York University and author of “Elsewhere, USA”