After September 11, 2001, headlines around the world read: "We are all Americans." As Giovanna Dell'Orto describes in her new book, The Hidden Power of the American Dream, in the years since 2001, international sentiment about the United States has turned 180 degrees. Dell'Orto argues that the United States acquired its (super) powers from the idea of the American dream, mythical or otherwise. Through her analysis of European media and government publications, Dell'Orto posits that without the belief that the United States is the land of opportunity and possibility, the American Empire is doomed. Dell'Orto makes use of artful arguments, the occasional personal scene, and historical context starting in 1898, when the United States performed its first overture on the international stage. Don't let the tightly packed text of the book turn you off; the material is not actually as dense as it appears to be.
Tue., Feb. 19, 4 p.m., 2008