By Benjamin Hunnicutt
Has the "American Dream" develop into an unrealistic utopian fable, or have we easily forgotten what we're operating for? In his topical e-book, Free Time, Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt examines the best way that growth, as soon as outlined as extra of the good stuff in existence in addition to extra loose time to get pleasure from them, has become understood merely as fiscal progress and extra paintings, forevermore.
Hunnicutt offers an incisive highbrow, cultural, and political background of the unique "American Dream" from the colonial days to the current. Taking his cue from Walt Whitman's "higher progress," he follows the lines of that dream, cataloging the myriad voices that ready for and lived in a gap "realm of freedom."
Free Time reminds american citizens of the forgotten, better part of the "American Dream"-that increasingly more of our lives could be lived freely, with an enriching relatives existence, with extra time to get pleasure from nature, friendship, and the adventures of the brain and of the spirit.
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Extra resources for Free Time: The Forgotten American Dream
Whereas no original sinfulness confounded human strivings, free people were certainly free to deny their destiny. Forgetting those immutable truths that make community and true progress possible, the nation might abandon its new freedoms and regress to tyranny, ignorance, selfishness, and economic chaos. Idleness was one of the greatest pitfalls. ”30 To preserve the new liberties made possible by the ten-hour day, workers (as well as the idle rich) needed to understand the importance of free activity.
40 Intelligence, guiding labor and making it more efficient, leads to a higher end than the mere conflict with nature and competition in the marketplace. Instead of continually trying to control and dominate the natural world to meet their material needs, individuals could freely return to nature to understand, appreciate, enjoy, and recreate. Moreover, “physical vigor is . . 41 Channing pointed out that physical exercise opens the mind “to cheerful impressions . . ” The physical body would be very much at home in the kingdom.
Historians agree that the desire for shorter work hours was the cause of the awakening of labor and of the working classes in the early nineteenth century. Roediger and Foner added that during the “Age of Jackson . . ” They argued that because of its popularity, the issue became the “common denominator for American control struggles . . around which workers from various craft and various cities could discuss their fears and register their protests against a myriad . . ”17 30 Chapter 2 But it may be argued that the hours issue did more than supply a symbol to call attention to other related issues.