Synopses & Reviews
For some, the American Dream is a pre-fab house in the suburbs with 2.5 kids and a two-week vacation at the end of the year. To others, it is working a push fruit cart in Oakland in order to put food on the family's table in Oaxaca.
In The American Dream, Harmon Leon draws upon his experiences of adopting personas and disguises to infiltrate the various institutions of everyday life, living among a diverse range of subcultures and learning first hand how they see their vision and utopia. His incursions include working as a marijuana farmer in a hippie commune in Northern California; becoming a carnie in rural Indiana; visiting a tourist attraction in Mexico (that allows people to simulate illegally crossing the border); venturing to Hollywood while trying to climb the ranks in the star-making machine; and working in the strawberries fields of California with newly arrived immigrants. The American Dream is a funny, satirical, and ultimately poignant take on what it means to be an American today.
Sprinkled with serious observations and facts, Leon manages to get across the real nature of all these people; describing the difficulties faced by illegals, for example, but also painting honest portraits of his subjects that both entertain and enlighten… And because Leon doesn't focus solely on the usual subcultures (i.e. Christians), The American Dream will surely have something for anyone interested in reading a little more about the less-‘standard’ people in America.”
Rocky Mountain News
“This book will make your sides hurt…A master of disguise – and literary hijinx – Leon satirizes all that’s comical and commendable about the American Dream.”
Carson Daly, on Last Call with Carson Daly
"Dangerous, endlessly entertaining....Read the book it’s fantastic. Trust me this is great!"
“In a quasi-democratic, pseudo-caplitalistic society like ours, citizens tend to create extremist subcultures, and Gonzo chameleon Harmon Leon has made a career out of infiltrating those eccentric covens.”
The Guardian, UK
“This manic mix of Borat and Hunter S Thompson is amusing”
In the tradition of Hunter S. Thompson and Sacha Baron Cohen, social chameleon Harmon Leon takes us on a journey into the savage heart of the American Dream.
Leon draws upon his experiences of adopting personas and disguises to infiltrate the various institutions of everyday life, which he chronicles in this work that is a funny, satirical, and ultimately poignant take on what it means to be an American today.
About the Author
Harmon Leon is an award-winning San Francisco journalist. His first two books, The Harmon Chronicles and Republican Like Me, both won Independent Publisher Awards for humor. His other books include The Infiltrator, National Lampoon’s Road Trip USA, and The Brothers Rjukerooka. Harmon has appeared on The Howard Stern Show, Penn and Teller: Bullshit!, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, E!, and Public Radio International’s This American Life. His writing as also appeared in Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Maxim, Details, Penthouse, Wired, and more.