Spreading the American Dream American Economic and Cultural Expansion, 1890-1945

Emily Rosenberg

Hill and Wang



Trade Paperback

264 Pages



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This book urges us to consider whether the American Dream of promoting abundance, egalitarianism, and mobility avoided the pitfalls of exploitation and human degradation that most expansionist powers have fallen into. Emily Rosenberg examines the economic growth and cultural trends that accompanied America's expansionist impulse during the first half of the twentieth century—expressed so eagerly by traders, investors, labor leaders, philanthropists, international societies, and pioneers of mass media—and shows how U.S. foreign relations evolved from a largely private system to an increasingly public one and how, soon, the American dream became global.


Praise for Spreading the American Dream

"This stimulating essay combines intellectual, economic, and diplomatic history, [and] provides fresh insights into the way governmental power was used to shape the American domestic marketplace, and how that visible hand was again used overseas."—Walter Lafeber, Cornell University

"Looks at foreign policy in the broadest sense by examining industrial as well as cultural forces . . . A perceptive analysis of the promotional, cooperative, and regulatory functions of the American state . . . Clear, concise, and readable."—Allan M. Winkler, University of Oregon

"[A] stimulating effort to bring some of the new social history to the study of foreign relations."—William Appleman Williams, Oregon State University

Reviews from Goodreads



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Spreading the American Dream
OneINTRODUCTION: THE AMERICAN DREAMTHE COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION OF 1893A SPECTACULAR World's Fair, the Columbian Exposition, opened in Chicago in 1893. Acres of classical buildings, constructed especially for the fair, created an urban wonderland; it glittered with artistic splendor and burgeoned with America's latest technological achievements. After a visit to this White City, the French novelist and critic Paul Bourget wrote: "Chicago, the enormous town we see expanding, the gigantic plant which grows before our eyes seems now in this wonderfully new country to be
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  • Emily Rosenberg

  • Emily Rosenberg is professor of history at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and, with her husband, Norman L. Rosenberg, co-author of In Our Times: American Since World War II.