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The 2016 Standing Rock protest was only the most recent manifestation of the indigenous American values inherited by European settlers on this land. James MacPherson

Indigenous people invented the so-called ‘American Dream’

Anti-immigrant policies ignore that American ideals like liberty, equality and the pursuit of happiness can be traced back to the indigenous pioneers who once moved freely across North America.
Old West, as seen through 1967 Orange County eyes. Orange County Archives

Old West theme parks paint a false picture of pioneer California

Knott's Berry Farm and others romanticize the state's past and influence visitors’ sense of history. But their ideology reflects mid-20th-century political conservatism more than settlers' reality.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard died of complications from ALS on July 27, 2017, at his home in Kentucky. Jakub Mosur/AP

Rural America: Where Sam Shepard’s roots ran deepest

To the recently deceased playwright, the nation's greatest tragedy was its move from an agricultural society to an urban, industrial one.
Maybe not, if you work on Wall Street. Reuters

Is the American Dream dead?

Falling homeownership rates, stagnant wages and diminishing retirement savings mean that for more and more Americans, the middle-class dream is slowly dying – if it's not already gone.
Is the right to pursue happiness equally available to all Americans? Josh Hallett

The fragile American Dream: insights from the economics of happiness

Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look…

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