Academic journal article Military Review

OVER THERE: How the GI Bill Transformed the American Dream

Academic journal article Military Review

OVER THERE: How the GI Bill Transformed the American Dream

Article excerpt

OVER THERE: How the GI Bill Transformed the American Dream, Edward Humes, Harcourt Press, Orlando, FL, 2006,320 pages, $26.00.

On 22 June 1944, the signing of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act produced positive, unintended consequences for thousands of veterans and post-war America. In Over There, Edward Humes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, shows how the three key opportunities provided by the GI Bill-education, home loans, and unemployment benefits-had a rippling effect on society, stimulating industry, business, and education and improving the lives of millions of Americans. To understand the GI Bill and its benefits is tantamount to understanding how America prospered as a nation after the World War II.

Humes illustrates the tangible and intangible results that arose from the bill's trifecta of opportunities by recounting veterans' personal stories. The "second bill of rights" helped thousands of former Soldiers become leaders, scientists, doctors, lawyers, educators, politicians, and other worthy members of society by leveling the playing field of opportunity. Tragically, the bill did not apply to minorities and women, thus limiting the full growth of the nation and preventing even greater additions to the collective pot of American dreams. …

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