Background: In the Pursuit of Happiness

For many people worldwide America has been more than a country or place. It has been a myth – a place where there was peace and plenty. A place where they could find their own American Dream, however they defined it.

Recently, however, serious doubts have again arisen as to whether Americans can be successful in their pursuit of happiness. A bitter debate has broken out about the present condition and the future prospects of America.


Read more in Access to English: Social Studies, pp. 312-315. Then work with the tasks in the textbook and here on the website.


Is the American Dream still alive?

Stories of people from all walks of life struggling to acquire the American Dream in the Rust Belt town of Port Clinton, Ohio. (CBS)

The new American Dream

For the first time in history, the majority of American parents don't think their kids will be better off than they were. This shouldn't be a cause for alarm, says journalist Courtney Martin in this TED Talk.