Edward Humes - Over Here

from the publisher:
Imagine telling an entire generation they could receive a free college education at any school that would accept them — Texas A&M, Harvard University, the Sorbonne — anywhere. Throw in a monthly stipend for living expenses, plus more money for books. And when you graduate, there's a government-backed home loan waiting, no money down and no credit checks — buy a house cheaper than renting an apartment. Throw in subsidized farm loans, business loans, free job training, free medical care, free job placement, and up to a year’s worth of weekly paychecks until you find work. What insane congressman, senator or president would ever approve such a costly boondoggle? It could never pass today, for it would be the most enormous, far-reaching, life-changing government program in the history of the world.

And so it was: the post-World War II G.I. Bill. It revolutionized higher education, created suburbia, brought us the scientists, engineers, doctors, artists and teachers who built most of what is good in America today. Over Here: How the G.I. Bill Transformed the American Dream recounts this sometimes surprising history and its lasting legacy. Consider it a book not of war stories, but of after-the-war stories, and in them you’ll meet film and theater director Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde, The Miracle Worker, the Nixon-Kennedy debates), Nobelist Leon Lederman (helped invent modern particle physics), civil rights crusader Monte Posey, George McGovern, Bob Dole, Josette Dermody Wingo and many others.