Everyday Hopes, Utopian Dreams: Reflections on American Ideals

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North Atlantic Books, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 176 pages
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Finding his idealism challenged by the reactionary forces that have proliferated in the post-9/11 world, Don Hanlon Johnson felt a need to recover more sober visions of hope amid the many reasons for despair and cynicism. Everyday Hopes, Utopian Dreams is a bracing backward glance at his life — and America's — in the pre- and post-World War II period. Through a series of narratives recalling his early life in California's Sacramento Valley as the son of immigrants, he takes readers through his neighborhood, sexual liaisons, local churches, manners, cuisine, hunting and fishing, public and religious schools, and local politics. In the process he lays the groundwork for sorting out the hopes of our forebears: what endures, what needs revision, what is harmful. For readers born after the 1950s particularly, Johnson's vignettes and observations offer a lens for envisioning a different kind of America — one that deserves revisiting as a model for progressives and anyone concerned with the direction of contemporary society.

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1 Frayed Hopes
The Mundane and the Apocalyptic
Speed Limits
Slow Pleasures
The Missionary Position
Birth and Death
11 Salmon in the Shadows

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About the author (2006)

Don Hanlon Johnson is a professor of Somatics at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He holds a PhD in philosophy and an MA in theology. In the past forty years, Johnson has published six books and countless articles in which he has cultivated an approach to nonfiction writing that grounds theory in narrative material.

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