What role should ambition play in our lives? Our culture generally buys the American Dream that yes, we can fulfill all our aspirations. But to seek personal power and fame in the competitive world of Western culture has a dark side. Ambition can be subtle and enticing, leading to great unhappiness.
Questions about ambition are more urgent now than they have ever been. What is ambition, exactly, and is it okay to be ambitious? What part does self-esteem play in personal growth and productivity? Can the ego's drive to get ahead and make a name for oneself lead to obsession or a growing narcissism? Does the desire to do one's best constitute ambition, or faithfulness to one's calling? Can personal character and integrity be eroded by too much celebrity and success?
The writers in this book address these complex questions about ambition in a variety of ways and in wonderfully different voices. The pieces range from personal musings to thought experiments and more formal reflections. With elegance and wisdom, the writers raise and reflect on the question that lies at our most intimate core of being and at the very center of our culture.