American Dream 2.0

A Christian Way Out of the Great Recession

By Frank A. Thomas Published
American Dream 2.0
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We need a new version of the American Dream.

The promise of America has always been creative potential: enterprise, industry, optimism, idealism, and hope. This promise, known since the beginning of the New World and named since the Great Depression as the “American Dream”, is what makes immigrants cry at the base of the Statue of Liberty. But there is a dark side to the American Dream, too—one that we don’t talk about much in polite company. A side characterized by the exploitation and domination of subjugated people.

The national climate has caused many to question the validity of the American Dream, and whether it even offers a viable vision for the nation. There are few greater questions to ask. Our collective future depends on a common vision. If the American Dream is dead, then what happens next?

This book evaluates the American Dream, establishes its roots, gives reasons for its decline, and offers solutions to reclaim the promise of the American Dream that is more aligned with Jesus’ vision of the kingdom of God and Martin Luther King Jr’ s vision of the “Beloved Community”. Our challenge is to develop a redesigned American Dream, a sustainable future for all, free from exploitation and domination of subjugated people.


Dr. Frank Thomas is one of the nation’s most powerful thinkers. He is able to make complex concepts come alive as he offers a positive critique for the conditions that plague is. It is a must read for all who want to "understand the times."—Bishop Walter S. Thomas, Sr., New Psalmist Baptist Church, Baltimore, Maryland; Presiding Prelate, Kingdom Association of Covenant Pastors

Dr. Frank Thomas, one of our nations most creative and dynamic preacher/teachers, has hit the mark again by writing a thoughtful and powerful book on the intersection of theology, economics, race, and culture. Anyone concerned with the future our nation must add this book to their personal library.–Dr. Otis Moss III, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago

Frank Thomas calls upon us all to become involved in a sustained critique of, and non-violent dissent against, the tendency to define our nation in purely economic terms. His call comes at a opportune time, for the vocabulary within which we describe our common dreams and collective values has become particularly anemic. His call, as articulated in this book, presents a rare combination of passionate argument and scholarly analysis that itself embodies the balanced approach that he advocates. He provides a masterful analysis of the jeremiad as a mode of prophetic protest even while he engages in a jeremiadic critique that acknowledges the tremendous American promise while detailing in a personal, accessible way how very far away from that promise we have fallen. In this book, in other words, Thomas practices what he preaches. It should be read by anyone interested in revitalizing our public discourse, and in recapturing our American Dream.
--Robert Terrill, Associate Professor, Department of Communication and Culture, Indiana University

About the Author

Frank A. Thomas

Frank A. Thomas currently serves as Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Academy of Preaching and Celebration at Christian Theological Seminary of Indianapolis, Indiana.