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Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation

 
 
 
 
Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation
Author: Suzanne Mettler
ISBN 13: 9780195331301
ISBN 10: 195331303
Edition: 1
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2007-09-10
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
List Price: $21.95
 
 

The G.I. Bill fueled not only the development of the middle class: it also revitalized American democracy. Americans who came of age during World War II joined fraternal groups and neighborhood and community organizations and took part in politics at rates that made the postwar era the twentieth century's civic "golden age." Drawing on extensive interviews and surveys with hundreds of members of the "greatest generation," Suzanne Mettler finds that by treating veterans as first-class citizens and in granting advanced education, the Bill inspired them to become the active participants thanks to whom memberships in civic organizations soared and levels of political activity peaked. Mettler probes how this landmark law produced such a civic renaissance. Most fundamentally, she discovers, it communicated to veterans that government was for and about people like them, and they responded in turn. In our current age of rising inequality and declining civic engagement, Soldiers to Citizens offers critical lessons about how public programs can make a difference.