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While the "American Dream" is one of the most familiar and powerful aspects of our national identity, it is not easily defined or attained. What is it? Where does it come from? Whom does it include? How is it reached? Jim Cullen's Restless in the Promised Land is a fascinating exploration of these questions and much more.
What began as a fundamentally Protestant ideal in opposition to Roman Catholicism has taken on a life of its own. From early settlers to urbanites, indigenous to immigrants, citizens to consumers, and politicians to popular culture icons, the American Dream means many things to many people. Inherent in its story is the complex tale of the rise of Catholicism in this country and its relationship to the American Dream.
Restless in the Promised Land: Catholics and the American Dream explores the American Catholic experience less as a set of theological doctrines than as a form of cultural identity that can best be seen in the world of popular culture. What makes this book unique and compelling is that it looks at American Catholicism through the lens of the larger-than-life characters of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby, Margaret Mitchell's Scarlett O'Hara, the performer Madonna, and the filmmaker Martin Scorcese.
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