The Myth of the American Dream
IVP Books

The Myth of the American Dream

Reflections on Affluence, Autonomy, Safety, and Power

by D. L. Mayfield

The Myth of the American Dream
  • Length: 192 pages
  • Published: April 14, 2020
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-4598-9
  • Item Code: 4598
  • Case Quantity: 56

Affluence, autonomy, safety, and power.

These are the central values of the American dream. But are they actually compatible with Jesus' command to love our neighbor as ourselves?

In essays grouped around these four values, D. L. Mayfield asks us to pay attention to the ways they shape our own choices, and the ways those choices affect our neighbors. Where did these values come from? How have they failed those on the edges of our society? And how can we disentangle ourselves from our culture's headlong pursuit of these values and live faithful lives of service to God and our neighbors?


Introduction: The Myth of the American Dream

Part One: Affluence
1. The Walls of Rome
2. Who is My Neighbor?
3. Get Curious
4. Low, Low Prices
5. How Not to Be a Millionaire
6. Lament for the Land
7. True Generosity

Part Two: Autonomy
8. Liberty
9. Names We Give
10. Loving On Versus Moving In
11. What is Education For?
12. Paying Attention to My Neighbors
13. The Hospitality of Exiles

Part Three: Safety
14. The Odds
15. Mary, or We Can Never be Safe
16. The Ship of the Doomed
17. Good Seeds
18. Waking up Sad
19. The Happiest Place on Earth

Part Four: Power
20. Empire
21. Billboards
22. The Pioneer Mind
23. Signposts
24. Monuments and Memorials
25. Learning from Exiles
Epilogue: How to Live in Empire


D. L. Mayfield is a writer and activist who has spent over a decade working with refugee communities in the United States. Her work has been published in McSweeney's, The Washington Post, Christianity Today, Christian Century, Sojourners, Vox, and the Englewood Review of Books. She is also the author of Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two children.

BY D. L. Mayfield

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