The American Dream is not dead, says Rifkin, but it's showing its years. Contrasting definitively American fantasies of individual autonomy, material wealth, and cultural assimilation with an emerging European vision of community relationships, quality of life, and cultural diversity, Rifkin argues that the great bloodshed of the twentieth century liberated Europeans from their past, better preparing them for global citizenship in the twenty-first century. Rifkin paints this contrast with grandiose, if sometimes messy, strokes, blending an intellectual history of the Enlightenment into an informed discussion of modern European political infrastructure. Rifkin is an American who has spent much of his life doing business in Europe, and his reasoned arguments are likewise often accompanied by personal anecdotes; it's clear on which continent his heart lies. But those who would dismiss Rifkin's polemics as rewarmed socialism miss the author's core argument. It is not a clash-of-civilizations diatribe but rather an appeal to Europeans to back their emergent vision with (American) courage and to Americans to temper their intemperate optimism with (European) moral perspective. The point is conversation, not competition.