American dream

The economy has been brutal to American workers for several decades. The promise at the heart of the American Dream is withering away. While onlookers assume those suffering in marginalized working-class communities will instinctively rise up, the 2016 election threw into sharp relief how little we know about how the working-class translate their grievances into politics.

In "We're Still Here: We're Still Here: Pain and Politics in the Heart of America," Jennifer M. Silva tells a deep, multi-generational story of pain, place, and politics that will endure long after the Trump administration. Drawing on over 100 interviews with black, white, and Latino working-class residents of a declining coal town in Pennsylvania, Silva reveals how the decline of the American Dream is lived and felt.

Jennifer M. Silva is an Assistant Professor in the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University in Bloomington.

For more than four decades, enormous advertisements displayed in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal affirmed a picturesque notion of everyday American life. The 18-foot-by-60-foot images depicted an idyllic nation: beautiful landscapes, holiday celebrations, world-changing historical events, family road trips, and patriotism.

"Colorama" is now on display at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY, examines the advertisements, offering insight into America, and the histories of advertising, photography, and technology. Thirty-six reproduced images from the George Eastman Museum depict an idealized past for a new generation, and a reintroduction for those who lived through the decades that helped shape photography. To tell us more: we welcome Director of Curatorial Affairs and Programming Jonathan Canning and Curator of Museum Education & Programming Jenny Hutchinson.

In fewer than three hundred words, Khizr Khan electrified viewers around the world when he took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And when he offered to lend Donald Trump his own much-read and dog-eared pocket Constitution, his gesture perfectly encapsulated the feelings of millions by challenging Trump's call to stop Muslims from entering the U.S.

In response, Trump questioned the Khan's motives and religion, even though they are Gold Star parents whose son was killed in Iraq. Today, Donald Trump is president and Khizr Khan is the author of a new book, "An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice" – just out in paperback. He has also written a book for young readers entitled, "This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with a Gold Star Father."

Khan was in Albany, New York to participate in New York State Writers Institute's Albany Book Festival at the University at Albany.

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich is a successful restaurateur, the author of many best-selling cookbooks, and the Emmy award-winning host of public television's "Lidia's Kitchen," which also airs internationally. She is also a judge on MasterChef Junior Italy and Italy's highly rated daily program "La Prova del Cuoco." 

Lidia's story begins with her upbringing in Pula, a formerly Italian city turned Yugoslavian under Tito's communist regime. She enjoys a childhood surrounded by love and security, despite the family's poverty, learning everything about Italian cooking from her beloved grandmother, Nonna Rosa. When the communist regime begins investigating the family, they flee to Trieste, Italy, where they spend two years in a refugee camp waiting for visas to enter the United States -- an experience that will shape Lidia for the rest of her life.

Her new memoir is "My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food."

Ken Langone started as a hard-working teenager who dug ditches and collected used cardboard. Now, he’s a billionaire and business icon: a co-founder of Home Depot, a former director of the New York Stock Exchange, and a world-class philanthropist.

It wasn’t easy for an Italian-American kid from a blue-collar family to break into the clubby, WASP-dominated world of Wall Street in the late 1950s. But Langone pulled it off as he explains in his new book, "I Love Capitalism!: An American Story."

In fewer than three hundred words, Khizr Khan electrified viewers around the world when he took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And when he offered to lend Donald Trump his own much-read and dog-eared pocket Constitution, his gesture perfectly encapsulated the feelings of millions.

Khizr Khan's new book is "An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice."

Capitalism has been a fundamental part of the American story from the very beginning, when the country became a place for people to dream, invent, and bet the farm in pursuit of a better life.

In the new book, Americana, author Bhu Srinivasan explores four hundred years of the American spirit of innovation and ambition through a series of Next Big Things—the inventions, techniques, and industries that drove American history forward—from the telegraph, the railroad, guns, and radio to banking, flight, suburbia, and cellphones.

Bhu Srinivasan is a media entrepreneur whose career has spanned digital media, pop culture, technology, publishing, and financial content. 

With more than three million foreign-born residents today, New York has been America’s defining port of entry for nearly four centuries, a magnet for transplants from all over the globe. These migrants have brought their hundreds of languages and distinct cultures to the city, and from there to the entire country. More immigrants have come to New York than all other entry points combined. 

 City of Dreams by Tyler Anbinder is peopled with memorable characters both beloved and unfamiliar, whose lives unfold in rich detail.

Imbolo Mbue’s debut novel is Behold the Dreamers. It chronicles a young Cameroonian couple making a new live in New York just as the great recession of the 2000s upends the economy. The novel explores marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trap-doors in the American Dream. 

In his “History of the Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire,” Edward Gibbon wrote: “All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance.”  More to the point of American history, the Irish philosopher, George Berkley (in 1752) paraphrased John Quincy Adams’ note: “Westward the course of empire takes its way,” thus: “The first four acts already past, a fifth shall close the drama with the day:  time’s noblest offspring is the last.”