Purchasing the American Dream


     I would like to thank my adviser, Dr. William Childs, for supporting the idea of a thesis in the form of a simulation and for making several suggestions that greatly improved the quality of the simulation’s design and content.
     A readings course on consumer culture history taught by Dr. Childs provided much of the theory behind the content of this project.  I am indebted to several of my classmates for their analyses of the monographs cited in this essay:  Greg Kupsky on T.H. Breen; Ari de Wilde on Edward Bellamy and Kathy Peiss; Joseph Orser on Daniel Horowitz, Susan Porter Benson, Richard Butsch, and Ellen Furlough and Carl Strikwerday; Jeffrey Jennings on Kelly Schrum; Carrie Green on Roy Rosenzweig; Matthew Yates on David Potter; Rob Denning on Kathleen Dononhue and Daniel Thomas Cook; and Shijin Wu on Hans B. Thorelli and Alan Stone.
     I thank my co-advisor, Dr. David Staley, for creating the readings course in digital history that established the theory behind the design of this simulation and for his valuable suggestions that improved its design.
     I thank Dr. Kevin Boyle for serving as the second reader on my committee.  I also benefited greatly from a readings course in U.S. history taught by Dr. Boyle.
     I am grateful to Dr. Alan Beyerchen for serving as the third reader on my committee and for his early support of this project as Graduate Studies Chair.
     Jim Bach generously volunteered his time and the use of his equipment to record the audio clips included in the simulation.  The following individuals deserve credit for their voice-acting contributions:  Jason Powell as “a banker from Cleveland;” Chris Aldridge as Morris Milgram; Matthew Yates as “the president of a leading mortgage credit institution in Chicago;” Rob Denning as “a San Francisco lender;” Steve Fink as “a leading mortgage institution in Chicago;” Dr. David Staley as “a businessman;” Larry Skillin as “a member of a church congregation;” Dr. Richard Ugland as Morris Courington; Jim Bach as Milton Lewis; Jillian Hinegardner as “a young housewife;” Greg Kupsky as “an attractive young married couple;” Lawrence Bowdish as “an executive;” Carrie Greene as “a white woman from Deerfield;” and Tom Spahr as “a homeowner from the North Shore.”
     I thank Allison Efford, Jason Powell, Josh Howard, Jessica Pliley, Matthew Yates, Greg Kupsky, Lawrence Bowdish, Carrie Greene, Tiffany Preston, Rob Bennett, and Adrienne Hinegardner for their feedback on drafts of the simulation.
     I am indebted to Chris Aldridge, Mitchell Shelton, and Walter Jevack for their assistance with the computer technology required to complete this project.
     I am grateful for the support of my family.

Jillian Hinegardner