Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities and Director of the American Studies Program at Columbia University, Andrew Delbanco examines the evolution of the American Dream--the idea that anyone may rise above his or her station, regardless of birth. Beginning with the Puritans, Professor Delbanco traces the origins of the American Dream from the Calvinist fire-and-brimstone of Jonathan Edwards, to the swelling optimism of Emerson and Melville, to the present day.
Thomas G. Andrews discusses his book "Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War" and the interconnection between railroads, coal, and steel in southern Colorado, in particular, through the lense of the Ludlow Massacre. His book is divided into three parts. The first, is on why the transition to fossil fuels like coal mattered in the American west. The second part examines what the rapid increase in the use of coal meant for the coal mining regions. The last section deals with the experience of the actual miners.