American Dream - A Dream Denied

'The American dream' - a phrase coined in 1931 that has become a national motto. It represents a unique brand of optimism that goes to the heart of what it is to be American. It is a simple phrase but a complex notion whose meaning is sustained and challenged by each generation. The promises of the American dream extended to all, but it was a dream denied to many. This episode looks at those who could not square the rhetoric of the dream with the reality of their lives, and those who wanted a different dream and a different America. It looks at a range of experiences: from Japanese and African Americans during the Second World War to radical groups of the seventies like the Weather Underground and the American Indian Movement. This series features those who helped foster and sell the dream, those who feel they have lived it, as well as those who challenge or reject the very notion. Through rare archive and eyewitness testimony, this series explores the realities behind America's most powerful myth - from the eve of the Second World War to the end of the Vietnam War.


  • 2010-11-27 20:30:00 - 2010-11-27 21:30:00 on BBC Two Scotland, BBC Two Wales, BBC Two England,
  • 2010-11-27 21:30:00 - 2010-11-27 22:30:00 on BBC Two Northern Ireland,
  • 2010-12-01 00:20:00 - 2010-12-01 01:20:00 on BBC Two Wales, BBC Two England,
  • 2010-12-01 00:30:00 - 2010-12-01 01:30:00 on BBC Two Scotland,
  • 2010-12-01 00:50:00 - 2010-12-01 01:50:00 on BBC Two Northern Ireland,


  • Series Producer Peter Molloy
  • Executive Producer Lucy Hetherington