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The Myth of the American Dream: Reflections on Affluence, Autonomy, Safety, and Power

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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  8 ratings  ·  5 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by IVP
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Grace
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I picked up this book expecting to hear about the dangers of allowing American cultural values to draw Christians' focus away from the gospel and onto worldly controversies and concerns. Instead, this book is about how Christians need to focus more on worldly concerns.

After another look at the title and blurb, I'm not sure why I thought this was going to be a Christian book, except that I got it from the religion section on NetGalley. I suppose it is, technically, a Christian book, in that it is
...more
Breanna Randall
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
“this is what we should fear: what our own desperate desire for safety might end up doing to those who are beloved in the eyes of God”

If you are a white North American, you'll find much of this book relatable (and probably discomfiting at times!). Mayfield writes a critique of commonly accepted American values, and observes the ways that these values exclude and oppress, the way that the American dream is actually a burden built upon the bodies of people who are invisible to us, people who we
...more
Kaytesalvagni
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So many feelings in my heart were put to words on the pages of this book. Like the author, I grew up evangelical, now live in a diverse neighborhood, and can very much relate to her reflections on kinship and being in a true community with those around me. The way Mayfield writes about the circumstances of her life and how she got to where she is today in contrast with the circumstances of her friends and neighbors and the wildly different ways they got to where they are today is so touching and ...more
Ginger Hudock
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
D. L. Mayfield is a writer and teaches English to immigrants, mostly refugees, in Portland, Oregon. She grew up in a conservative evangelical Christian family and was homeschooled. Although still a Christian, she has rejected her former background and would now consider herself a left=wing progressivist Christian. In my opinion this book trashes American history and culture. Capitalism is bad, all whites are privileged and should make up for the sins of our ancestors.

One quote stands out to me
...more
Bethany
This is such an important book. It graciously and kindly tackles incredibly hard things, while not glossing over anything. I cannot possibly recommend this more.

*I received a digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
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D. L. Mayfield lives and writes in Portland, OR with her husband and two small children. Mayfield likes to write about refugees, theology, and downward mobility, among other topics. She has written for places as varied as McSweeneys, Christianity Today, Image journal, and the Toast. Her book of essays, Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith is forthcoming from ...more