American Dreams

Lost and Found

“Here is the raw material for one thousand novels . . . incomparable.” —Margaret Atwood

In this unique look at one of our most pervasive national myths, Studs Terkel persuades an extraordinary range of Americans to articulate their version of “The American Dream.” Beginning with an embittered winner of the Miss U.S.A. contest who sees the con behind the dream of success and including an early interview with a highly ambitious Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terkel explores the diverse landscape of the promise of the United States—from farm kids dreaming of the city to city kids determined to get out, from the Boston Brahmin to the KKK member, from newly arrived immigrants to families who have lived in this country for generations, these narratives include figures both famous and infamous. Filtered through the lens of our leading oral historian, the chorus of voices in American Dreams highlights the hopes and struggles of coming to and living in the United States. Originally published in 1980, this is a classic work of oral history that provides an extraordinary and moving picture of everyday American lives.

News and Reviews

Get 30% off these selected titles by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel with code TNPSTUDS through May 31:

In March 1970, Maya Angelou sat down with Studs Terkel for a radio interview about her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Books by Studs Terkel

Hard Times
An Oral History of the Great Depression

Studs Terkel

Giants of Jazz

Studs Terkel

Coming of Age
Growing Up in the Twentieth Century

Studs Terkel

Race
How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession

Studs Terkel