A fascinating long read: The Self-Made Man: The Story of America’s Most Pliable, Pernicious, Irrepressible Myth.
The essay contains eight profiles of purportedly self-made Americans, from Benjamin Franklin to the author’s own father. In summary: Success comes from hard work, and help from others, and luck.
I’m fascinated by modern versions of the American Dream, such as Shark Tank pitches, four-hour work weeks, and multi-level marketing. And by portrayals of fictional self-made anti-heroes, from AMC’s golden age of television: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Halt & Catch Fire. If you’re curious about these topics too, then I recommend this article.