About the Book

The Dream & the Nightmare

The Dream & the Nightmare

The Sixties? Legacy to the Underclass
April 2000
Trade Paperback · 238 Pages
$15.95 U.S. · $20.00 CAN
ISBN 9781893554023
Encounter Books


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Myron Magnet’s The Dream and the Nightmare argues that the radical transformation of American culture that took place in the 1960s brought today’s underclass–overwhelmingly urban, dismayingly minority–into existence. Lifestyle experimentation among the white middle class produced often catastrophic changes in attitudes toward marriage and parenting, the work ethic and dependency in those at the bottom of the social ladder, and closed down their exits to the middle class.

Texas Governor George W. Bush’s presidential campaign has highlighted the continuing importance of The Dream and the Nightmare. Bush read the book before his first campaign for governor in 1994, and, when he finally met Magnet in 1998, he acknowledged his debt to this work. Karl Rove, Bush’s principal political adviser, cites it as a road map to the governor’s philosophy of “compassionate conservatism.”

About the Author

Myron Magnet is the editor of CITY JOURNAL, the Manhattan Institute's quarterly magazine of urban affairs, and a former member of the board of editors of FORTUNE magazine. His work as a writer has covered a wide range of topics: American society and social policy, economics, corporate management, intellectual history and literature. Married and the father of two teenagers, he lives on Manhattan's Upper West Side.