Based on the new book of the same name, Making Long Island: A History of Growth & the American Dream tells the fascinating story of the development of Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties) between 1920 and 1980. Between the 1920s and 1950s, Long Island served as a primary site of the pursuit of the American dream, as it was affordable homeownership for the middle class that most compellingly expressed the nation’s core mythology. Beginning in the 1960s, that dream began to dissolve, as the postwar economic engine ran out of steam and as Long Island became as much urban as suburban. Despite all its economic and social challenges, a new and improved American dream now appears to be emerging on Long Island, and the place remains one of the beautiful places on the planet.
Lawrence R. Samuel is a Miami and New York City-based cultural historian and a Long Island native. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and was a Smithsonian Institution Fellow. Larry blogs for psychologytoday.com, and his previous books include The End of the Innocence: The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair (Syracuse University Press, 2007). His next book is Literacy in America: A Cultural History of the Past Century (Rowman & Littlefield, May 2024).
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