Myron Magnet’s The Dream and the Nightmare argues that the radical transformation of American culture that took place in the 1960s brought today’s underclass — overwhelmingly urban, dismayingly minority — into existence. Lifestyle experimentation among the white middle class produced often catastrophic changes in attitudes toward marriage and parenting, the work ethic and dependency in those at the bottom of the social ladder, and closed down their exits to the middle class.
Endorsements and Reviews
“To read Magnet is to realize that the conservative critique of contemporary America is the more — indeed the only — radical critique just now.” — George F. Will
“The book of the decade … the most insightful analysis of what has gone wrong in America during the past thirty years I’ve seen.” — Mona Charen
“It is rare for a single short book to cast such penetrating light on the world in which we live that it instantly becomes an indispensable guide to the outstanding question of the day … The Dream and the Nightmare is a work of this extraordinary kind.” — Hilton Kramer, The New Criterion
“An absorbing tale of how the honorable intentions of liberal do-gooders produced tragic consequences. It is also at heart a profoundly optimistic book … Many writers have addressed this topic in recent years but few have done so with more wisdom or more passion than Mr. Magnet.” — The Wall Street Journal
“Guaranteed non-PC from beginning to end.” — Tom Wolfe
“This superbly written and well argued book should stimulate discussions across the breadth of the political spectrum.” — National Review
“A powerful analysis of the ties between 1960s-era intellectual trends and contemporary urban social breakdown.” — New York Post
“It is a superb book, thoughtful and impassioned.” — Irving Kristol
“A masterly overview … that yields extraordinary explanatory power.” — Carolyn Lochhead, Reason
“The Dream and the Nightmare by Myron Magnet crystallized for me the impact the failed culture of the ’60s had on our values and society.” — President George W. Bush
Hardback, William Morrow & Co., 1993
Paperback, Encounter Books, 2000
Mr. Magnet, “The Dream” book is amazing. Look at where we are now! I use a computer at the Drake Univ. library in Des Moines. These students and faculty and beyond reaching. But you know, I grew up upper middle class (born 1955) and much of what you talk about was communicated to my generation in Deerfield, IL, also. Of course, my family was Democratic. So many peers ended up debauched and dead too soon (including my brother), or just a bunch of money chasers. No soul to be found anywhere. Trump needs to encourage the founding of REAL education. Not just for kids, but new colleges and universities. The ones we have now are hopeless.
Thanks for your wonderful work. I was spellbound.