Tuesday, November 7, 2017

1882: New York City

You Too Can Succeed In Life

"The happiness road no longer leads only to the prairies of the West. Now, it is also the day of the big cities. The whistle of the train, magic flute, awakens youth from its rustic drowsiness and invites it to join the new paradises of cement and steel. Any ragged orphan, promise the siren voices, can become a prosperous businessman if he works hard and lives virtuously in the offices and factories of the giant buildings.

"A writer, Horatio Alger, sells these illusions by the millions of copies. Alger is more famous than Shakespeare and his novels have a bigger circulation than the Bible. His readers and his characters, tame wage earners, have not stopped running since they got off the trains or transatlantic ships. In reality, the track is reserved for a handful of business athletes, but North American society massively consumes the fantasy of free competition, and even cripples dream of winning races."

-----Eduardo Galeano, Memory of Fire, Vol. 2, Faces and Masks, p. 221

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