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Book Chapter

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Powered by a philosophy of self-determination and an ideology of a level playing field, the Athletic American Dream has become firmly entrenched in American culture. Following narrative pattterns influenced by both newspaper sports sections and juvenile sports fiction, it coalesces around underdog-to-champion, hard-work-leads-to-victory narratives that shape the sporting imagination and help to forge the masculine ideal that is the foundation of American self-image. The Athletic American Dream is produced, packaged and sold by mass media so successfully that one could argue that it becomes the most dominant vision of the American Dream by the end of the twentieth century.