And excerpt of the excerpt:
The American home became the embodiment of generations of aspirations. First came the land, then came the emblem that you owned and lorded over the landscape—the manor home. In a uniquely American way, homeowners were echoing the class-climbing impulses of their forebears. Cathedral ceilings bespoke of sanctified self-improvement. Bathroom suites implied middle-class barony. Homes got bigger and more expensive because we wanted them to portray nobility. We had made it. We’d achieved the American dream! This was what we had to show for generations of effort. The fact that this striving also became a
mania for investment and speculation is also painfully American.