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Tantalizing Times

Excitements, Disconnects, and Discontents in Contemporary American Society

V. Barry Dauphin

What can the ancient myth of Tantalus teach us about modern America? Tantalus was a wealthy man on top of his world. Yet seeing how the gods lived whetted his desires to have their powers and immortality. The punishment for his hubris was to have desired objects in sight but out of reach eternally. Although America is a culture awash in excitements, amusements, technologies, and innumerable goodies, Americans frequently complain of dissatisfaction. This book explores the myth and psychology of tantalization in order to look at many of the curious contradictions of American culture in new ways. This book could be useful for courses in psychology, sociology, American studies, communication and interdisciplinary courses that include a focus on American society.