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The GI Bill

A New Deal for Veterans
Altschuler, Glenn C. (Book - 2009 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
The GI Bill
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Oxford University Press
On rare occasions in American history, Congress enacts a measure so astute, so far-reaching, so revolutionary, it enters the language as a metaphor. The Marshall Plan comes to mind, as does the Civil Rights Act. But perhaps none resonates in the American imagination like the G.I. Bill.

In a brilliant addition to Oxford's acclaimed Pivotal Moments in American History series, historians Glenn C. Altschuler and Stuart M. Blumin offer a compelling and often surprising account of the G.I. Bill and its sweeping and decisive impact on American life. Formally known as the Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944, it was far from an obvious, straightforward piece of legislation, but resulted from tense political maneuvering and complex negotiations. As Altschuler and Blumin show, an unlikely coalition emerged to shape and pass the bill, bringing together both New Deal Democrats and conservatives who had vehemently opposed Roosevelt's social-welfare agenda. For the first time in American history returning soldiers were not only supported, but enabled to pursue success--a revolution in America's policy towards its veterans.

Once enacted, the G.I. Bill had far-reaching consequences. By providing job training, unemployment compensation, housing loans, and tuition assistance, it allowed millions of Americans to fulfill long-held dreams of social mobility, reshaping the national landscape. The huge influx of veterans and federal money transformed the modern university and the surge in single home ownership vastly expanded America's suburbs. Perhaps most important, as Peter Drucker noted, the G.I. Bill "signaled the shift to the knowledge society." The authors highlight unusual or unexpected features of the law--its color blindness, the frankly sexist thinking behind it, and its consequent influence on race and gender relations. Not least important, Altschuler and Blumin illuminate its role in individual lives whose stories they weave into this thoughtful account.

Written with insight and narrative verve by two leading historians, The G.I. Bill makes a major contribution to the scholarship of postwar America.

Authors: Altschuler, Glenn C.
Statement of Responsibility: Glenn C. Altschuler, Stuart M. Blumin
Title: The GI Bill
a new deal for veterans
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009
Characteristics: xi, 246 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [215]-236) and index
Contents: Toward the GI bill : veterans and politics from the Revolution through World War I
FDR and the reshaping of veterans' benefits, 1940-1943
"Mission accomplished"
"S.R.O." : veterans and the colleges
"The most inclusive program" : race, gender, and ethnicity in Title II
Overlooked : GI Joe, but not Joe College
Finding a home : the VA mortgage
Subject Headings: Veterans Education Law and legislation United States Veterans Legal status, laws, etc. United States
Topical Term: Veterans
Veterans
Additional Contributors: Blumin, Stuart M.
LCCN: 2008052714
ISBN: 0195182286
9780195182286
Branch Call Number: 362.868 A
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