HE COINED THE TERM:
American political journalist and writer, Walter Lippman, circa 1954.
to John Kenneth White and Sandra L. Hanson in an academic paper entitled “The Making and Persistence of the American Dream.”
Lippmann returned to the concept again in 1923, in a pointed critique in Vanity Fair entitled “Education and the White-Collar Class.” More sensitive than Adams to the entrenched structures that made it difficult if not impossible for certain groups to succeed in America, Lippman disposed of the idea that higher education enabled upward social mobility. Rather, he argued for its merits merely as a fundamental democratic good, to forestall “a literate and uneducated democracy, which is what we now have,” at the dawning of an era of demagogues and fascists, such as Mussolini, who had just come to power in Italy. It’s a warning that still resonates today.
The American Dream proved to be real for one population in particular.
Despite the roadblocks of discrimination, quotas, and outright anti-Semitism, the American Dream proved to be real for one population in particular. Within a generation or two of having arrived on these shores and being crowded into urban ghettos, millions of newly minted JewishAmericans had largely moved uptown or to the suburbs; populated the top tiers of business, law, education, journalism, and the arts; made great strides in politics; and became, in many ways, the very embodiment of the American Dream. Perhaps no other group can claim such a distinction. Which is why I like to sing “God Bless America” — written, of course, by Israel Isidore Baline, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, better known as Irving Berlin.
THEY'RE JUST WILD ABOUT IRVING: Irving Berlin, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, was born Israel Isidore Baline.