HOME | NEWSLETTER | BIO | BOOKS by Charles D. Hayes | FAMOUS AUTODIDACTS | SEPTEMBERUNIVERSITY.org | SELF-UNIVERSITY WEEK | PRESS

 

BEYOND THE AMERICAN DREAM:

Lifelong Learning and the Search
for Meaning in a Postmodern World.

Read Beyond the American Dream and:

  • Redefine what it means to be educated.

  • Explore the great thinkers and philosophers of our time...and throughout history (includes a 24-page bibliography).

  • Reap the pleasure of perspective from your life's learning.

  • Discover a passionate defense of liberalism and self-education.

Beyond the American Dream
Beyond the American Dream
Charles D. Hayes

Order from Autodidactic Press with FREE shipping!

$26.95
Or click here to order from Amazon.com

divider

Reviews and Comments:

Here is an eloquent, precise, and moving statement on the essence of lifelong learning. With brilliant metaphors and an enjoyable mix of ideas and personal experience, Charles Hayes makes the complex understandable in illuminating history and philosophy, belief and perception, ethnocentric behavior, and economics. Beyond the American Dream is a wonderful intellectual adventure I'll be going back to again and again.

Ronald Gross, author of Peak Learning and The Independent Scholar's Handbook.

It was refreshing to read such a profound and passionate celebration of the rewards of learning and the value of self-directed inquiry. In the midst of all the frantic hype and fluff that deluge Americans every day and produce so much ovine behavior, it is an inspiration to hear from someone who both cherishes and exemplifies independent thinking. A brilliant and moving work.

Philip Slater, author of The Pursuit of Loneliness and A Dream Deferred.
 

In a world of flabby, fragmentary, and postmodernist thinking, Hayes offers a glowing tribute to old-fashioned curiosity and reason. Clear thinking is as human and healthy as breathing. Charles Hayes encourages us to give it a try.

Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Fear of Falling and Blood Rites.
 

"Beyond the American Dream outlines an essential strategy for living a more satisfying life by achieving a better understanding of the world around us."

THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
 

"Provocative and uniquely hopeful. This book deserves to be widely read, particularly by those looking to rekindle the enthusiasm that brought them to the world of ideas in the first place. Highly recommended."

CHOICE
 

"A fine, eclectic discourse on the consciously created life....Engaging and thought-provoking."

THE BLOOMSBURY REVIEW
 

"Hayes believes deeply in the value of self-education. His book reads like a plain-speaking who's who of the best in European and American thought, every chapter packed with telling observations."

NAPRA REVIEW
 

"Here is a distillation of the best thoughts from the last two thousand years of scholarship; a common sense guide for the new millennium....In a way, this book is for our grandchildren and their generation. I hope they will pay attention to it."

Jack Weatherford, author of
Savages and Civilization and The History of Money

 

"A sophisticated social analysis integrating theory from diverse disciplines...a supremely intelligent epic journey into the core issues of human existence."

John F. Schumaker, author of
Wings of Illusion and The Corruption of Reality

 

"An indescribably great book! Nominated as one of the top ten best books of the year."

MANAGEMENT GENERAL TM

 

James R. Fisher Jr., author of Six Silent Killers: Management's Greatest Challenge (St. Lucie Press 1998) and The Taboo Against Being Your Own Best Friend (Delta Group Florida 1996) has this to say about Beyond the American Dream by Charles D. Hayes:

Beyond the American Dream is the most comprehensive, beautiful, complex, and disturbing book on the American psyche I have read in my lifetime. This great book is all about learning, about re-understanding who we are as Americans, and citizens of a new global community. Hayes takes the reader into the minds and hearts of men and women over the centuries who have attempted to make sense of their respective Ages, and plays it against his own understanding of our times. He digs deep into the roots of our cultural heritage, not as an intellectual snob, but as a card-carrying working man out of the bowels of our society. His life is a piece of poignant reality which is the stuff of art, science, philosophy, politics, psychology and popular culture.

Hayes echoes what Ralph Waldo Emerson said more than a century ago, that experience is far more compelling than institutional learning because with experience we must become learners. We too often become only knowers, punishing others with our knowledge, failing to go beyond that knowledge to apply it effectively. We become prisoners of credentials and look for positions, not jobs, for cushy situations, not challenging opportunities.

Beyond the American Dream is not about getting rich, or becoming a star. It is about using one's head as a triumphant and outrageously euphoric experience to become all that one could become. I wish that I had had this book when I was about to launch myself into life. It would have provided me with a perspective and a vision of the possibilities beyond what convention dictates.

This book reminds us, we have become a society of too much, too many, too soon, where there is conspicuous consumption but little light-mindedness, where there is a celebration of celebrity but little moral responsibility, where we are externally driven and essentially unmindful of our noble center. Beyond the American Dream restores our moral compass by putting the reader in the equation, not as an observer but as a participant, not as a commodity for exchange but as a responsible individual who listens to his own heart to find his way. If you read no other book in the next year, I would urge you to read this book. It could change your life.

Beyond the American DreamPreface Introduction

Chapter One: American Dreams
Origins

1796
1846
1896
1946
1996

King of the Mountain

The Race to the Top
Merit and Value
Evaluation and Worth
 

Mountain Fever

Climbing Strategies
Delusions at High Altitude
 

Life at the Bottom of the Mountain

Chapter Two: Conquering Mountains
The Other Side of the Mountain
Purpose and Meaning vs. High Ground

Morality
Relativism
Finding a Moral North


Building Better Mountains

Deceptive PathsMaking
Our Own Way
 

Expanding Awareness

Learning to Reason
Creating a Better Life


Chapter Three: Culture and Questions of Value
Culture in Perspective
Lessons of History

Individual Interpretations
History as Social Progress
 

Public Attention, Private Confusion

Chapter Four: Perception and Beliefs
Religion and Reality
Postmodernism and Meaning

Belief and Ethnocentrism
Truth and Sacred Texts


Chapter Five: Biological Patterns vs. Social Patterns
From Self-Deception to Nationalism

Bigotry and Racism
Political Correctness
The Desire to Matter
 

Our Relationship with Authority
The Environment

Knowledge as a Resource
Population Growth


Chapter Six: Social Patterns vs. Intellectual Patterns
Social Prophets and Biographical Life
Socially Constructed Reality

Personal Realities
Self-Serving Perception
The Power of Mind-Sets
Ethnocentrism and Interdependence


Chapter Seven: Economics vs. Quality of Life
Economics in Context

Ideology
Self-Interest and Free Markets
 

Models for the Millennium
From Kings of the Mountain to Citizens of the World

Economics and Global Prosperity
Human Rights


Chapter Eight: Rising to the Role of Citizen
Social Ideology and Personal Reality

Life Beyond Symbols
Quality of Life Through Self-Restraint
Intellect is Higher Than Culture
 

Morality and the Human Family

Wonder vs. Boredom
Eternal Return: Wanting to be the Person You Are


Chapter Nine: SELF-RELIANCE in a Postmodern World
Accepting Responsibility

Posterity in 2046
The Key to the Future
 

Moving Beyond the Dream

Raising the Final Curtain
A New Ethic: Lifelong Learning


Dust Jacket Copy

The final decade of the second millennium has issued a flourish of books foretelling the end of everything from science to history. In the first decade of the third millennium, books about new beginnings will take their place. Is it a time for despair or hope? Many of today's social critics deplore the effects of multiculturalism in spawning a postmodern era. One observer, however, finds reason to celebrate, claiming it's about time we looked beyond the confines of our king-of-the-mountain value system to a broader plane of understanding.

In his newest book, Charles D. Hayes submits that the American Dream we've learned to champion is an insufficient aspiration for human beings. Cultural expectations create social reality. "If having must come at the expense of being," he asserts, "then you and I are missing the best part of life, and our culture is the worse for it."

Reaching the top--at any cost, by the current model--has outlived its usefulness as a goal in human society. Those who make it, remain unfulfilled. Those who don't, become marginalized and resentful. "Through the power of our intellect," says Hayes, "we can begin living off the interest of our biological world instead of continuing to eat away at the principle. Either we improve society through our ideas, or we perpetuate its deterioration through a lack of them."

A sophomoric sense of citizenship might reason this way: "Since I wasn't alive during slavery, I bear no responsibility for it." Certainly, it is senseless to blame ourselves for what happened before we were born, but Hayes maintains, "We do have a responsibility toward what is. If you and I are the beneficiaries of an unjust system stemming from the biases, prejudices, and atrocities of the past, then we have an obligation to remedy the unfairness." Beyond the American Dream points the way to rising above the lock-step patterns of our culture and assuming our rightful roles as thoughtful, responsible citizens.

In failing to truly value individual thought and reflection, our society guarantees that an ever-increasing number of citizens will practice neither. As in his previous works, Hayes urges readers to take control of their own learning and to adopt self-directed inquiry as a lifelong priority. "Education should be regarded not as something you get, but as something you take. Self-education is the lifeblood of democracy, the key to controlling your life, and a means to living your life to its fullest."

Beyond the American Dream illustrates these ideas in practice. Offering fresh insight on the wisdom of great thinkers from Aristotle to Alan Watts, together with a tantalizing juxtaposition of ideas that can't help but foster reflection, Hayes demonstrates how the sensual pleasures of learning can be inherently more satisfying than anything posing as entertainment. He gives compelling evidence that America's greatest treasures are found, "not in our shopping malls but in our libraries."

Certain that the greatest means we have of persuading others is to live by the example we advocate, Charles Hayes challenges each of us to re-evaluate our values and to amend our ambitions accordingly. Beyond the American Dream is a thoughtful summons to awaken from the New Age doctrines that have so engulfed our culture. It is a book about the meaning of meaning and implores us to find purpose in life by leaving the world a better place than we found it.

 

AUTODIDACTIC PRESS TITLES:

Existential Aspirations

Find out more:  Existential Aspirations

September University: Summoning Passion for an Unfinished Life

Find out more:  September University
 

The Rapture of Maturity: A Legacy of Lifelong Learning

Find out more:  The Rapture of Maturity
 

Portals in a Northern Sky...a novel

Find Out More>
 

Beyond the American Dream

Find Out More>
 

Training Yourself: The 21st Century Credential

Find Out More>
 

Proving You're Qualified

Find Out More>
 

Self-University

Find Out More>
 

Famous Autodidacts -
Self-educated People Who've Made a Difference

 

Self-University Week:
September 1-7

 

September University
An Online Lifelong Learning Campus for People Age 50 and Over

 



Sign up for FREE subscription to Self-University Newsletter,
for timely reflections and news about self-education.  (You will be notified via Yahoo e-mail services each time a new issue is posted.)

 

AUTODIDACTIC PRESS TITLES:

Existential Aspirations

Find out more:  Existential Aspirations

September University: Summoning Passion for an Unfinished Life

Find out more:  September University
 

The Rapture of Maturity: A Legacy of Lifelong Learning

Find out more:  The Rapture of Maturity
 

Portals in a Northern Sky...a novel

Find Out More>
 

Beyond the American Dream

Find Out More>
 

Training Yourself: The 21st Century Credential

Find Out More>
 

Proving You're Qualified

Find Out More>
 

Self-University

Find Out More>
 



Sign up for FREE subscription to Self-University Newsletter,
for timely reflections and news about self-education.  (You will be notified via Yahoo e-mail services each time a new issue is posted.)

 

 

HOME | NEWSLETTER | BIO | BOOKS by Charles D. Hayes | FAMOUS AUTODIDACTS | SEPTEMBERUNIVERSITY.org | SELF-UNIVERSITY WEEK | PRESS

 
© 2015 Autodidactic Press
P.O. Box 872749 - Wasilla, Alaska 99687
907-376-2932 voice & fax
E-mail: info@autodidactic.com

The logos and names used in these pages are the property of their respective owners.