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Pop Culture and the Dark Side of the American Dream – Con Men, Gangsters, Drug Lords, and Zombies - Kentucky Scholarship Online
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Pop Culture and the Dark Side of the American Dream: Con Men, Gangsters, Drug Lords, and Zombies

Paul A. Cantor


What is the American dream, and why has it proven so elusive for many people? By examining popular culture’s portrayal of the dark side of the American dream, this book seeks to answer these questions. Only when we see people fail in their pursuit of the American dream do we begin to understand its limitations and its inner contradictions. This book explores five representative examples of the American dream gone awry: (1) Huckleberry Finn; (2) the films of W. C. Fields; (3) the Godfather films;(4) Breaking Bad; and (5) The Walking Dead (and other “end-of-the-world” narratives). As these cases ... More

Keywords: American dream, Popular culture, Huckleberry Finn, W. C. Fields, Godfather films, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780813177304
Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813177304.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul A. Cantor, author
University of Virginia

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