Given the decline in recent years of U.S. economic prosperity, perhaps we should ask ourselves if the American Dream is still a reality. There are those who think it is in jeopardy, but I firmly believe there is still no other country in the world that affords more opportunity and freedom. Even as I look back over five generations of Staraces and their families in this country, I see a persistent belief in the American Dream that drew our ancestors across oceans. The American Dream may seem tougher to realize, but it will survive as long as we pursue it.
My grandfather had every confidence that with each succeeding generation, the American Dream would become more than a cliché—it would become a reality for his family. He knew there was no "free lunch," but he expected every one of us to be given the opportunity to earn it, and with hard work, even relish some of the extra goodies.
Yet, as I wrote this book I kept asking myself if I had really earned the right to be an American, and to deserve the fruits of the American Dream. I had no excuses because I had been given every opportunity by friends, family, God, and country to grow and prosper. For well over a century our family thrived in this country, achieving the American Dream. Step by step, each generation got closer and closer to the American Dream's fulfillment, even while the very concept of the America Dream was changing at home and abroad.
As you read White Sails Became Me, I think you will become convinced that although there is a tendency to sometimes blame the American Dream for inflated expectations, it is still a reality for those who earnestly pursue it through thrift and hard work.