The period covered by this book has received a great deal of attention from historians interested in foreign or domestic policy and from biographers of significant political figures, but their works pay little attention to educational issues. To complicate the matter, the best books on the history of American education, if they refer to postwar events at all, do so in a summary fashion. Thus, the reader interested in the educational history of this period must look to general histories for context and, for specific educational issues, to the works of political scientists, sociologists, biographers, and journalists, as well as to a mountain (or, more accurately, a mountain range) of primary source materials.
A good general overview of postwar America is Eric F. Goldman, The Crucial Decade--and After: America, 1945-1960 ( New York: Vintage, 1960). Other useful syntheses of an enormously complicated period are William Manchester , The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America, 1932-1972 ( Boston: Little, Brown, 1974); William L. O'Neill, Coming Apart. An Informal History of America in the 1960's ( Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1971); Godfrey Hodgson , America in Our Time ( Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1976). Cultural histories of particular interest are Ronald Berman, America in the Sixties: An Intellectual History ( New York: Free Press, 1968); and Morris Dickstein, Gates of Eden: American Culture in the Sixties ( New York: Basic Books, 1977), both of which cover a longer time span than their titles indicate. Certain political biographies offer a sense of the times and the men who shaped them, such as Alonzo L. Hamby, Beyond the New Deal. Harry S. Truman and American Liberalism ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1973); and Herbert S. Parmet , Eisenhower and the American Crusades ( New York: Macmillan, 1972). A useful overview of American educational development is Fred M. Hechinger and Grace Hechinger, Growing Up in America ( New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975).