This book tracks the dramatic outcomes of the federal government's growing involvement in higher education between World War I and the 1970s, and the conservative backlash against that involvement from the 1980s onward. Using cutting-edge analysis, Christopher Loss recovers higher education's central importance to the larger social and political history of the United States in the twentieth century, and chronicles its transformation into a key mediating institution between citizens and the state.
Framed around the three major federal higher education policies of the twentieth century--the 1944 GI Bill, the 1958 National Defense Education Act, and the 1965 Higher Education Act--the book charts the federal government's various efforts to deploy education to ready citizens for the national, bureaucratized, and increasingly global world in which they lived. Loss details the myriad ways in which academic leaders and students shaped, and were shaped by, the state's shifting political agenda as it moved from a preoccupation with economic security during the Great Depression, to national security during World War II and the Cold War, to securing the rights of African Americans, women, and other previously marginalized groups during the 1960s and '70s. Along the way, Loss reappraises the origins of higher education's current-day diversity regime, the growth of identity group politics, and the privatization of citizenship at the close of the twentieth century.
At a time when people's faith in government and higher education is being sorely tested, this book sheds new light on the close relations between American higher education and politics.
Christopher P. Loss is assistant professor of public policy and higher education at Vanderbilt University.
"Loss has succeeded in a very ambitious project, and shows the many ways that higher education serves as a key intermediary between state and citizen. I hope other academics will take up the challenge and build on his very good start."--Nancy L. Ruther, Times Higher Education
"Loss offers a well-researched, important narrative of the escalating involvement of federal policy in U.S. higher education from WWI through the 1970s and of the remarkable social outcomes or effects thereof. . . . Loss's book merits a place on university library shelves as well on the reading lists of courses on public policy and on the history of American higher education."--Choice
"Between Citizens and the State provides an accurate and cogent perspective on movements in American society that have led members of government and higher education to clash, but also to collaborate. Loss provides new insights on a one-hundred-year relationship that has largely been neglected by scholars."--Hani Morgan, Journal of American History
"More than just a deeply researched, nuanced history of the politics of higher education, Between Citizens and the State makes a major contribution to American political history, uncovering little known but highly significant instruments of national power and shedding new light on the complex, hidden ways government works in the modern United States."--Bruce Schulman, Boston University
"The current intense scrutiny of higher education calls for rethinking its history. An excellent place to begin is Christopher Loss's fresh and challenging interpretation. With lively case studies, he illuminates institutional responses to the nation's expanding sense of democratic values."--Hugh Hawkins, Amherst College
Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations and Appendix Charts ix
Chapter 1: Introduction: The Politics of American Higher Education in the Twentieth Century 1
Part I: Bureaucracy
Chapter 2: Reorganizing Higher Education in the Shadow of the Great War 19
Chapter 3: Building the New Deal Administrative State 53
Part II: Democracy
Chapter 4: Educating Citizen-Soldiers in World War II 91
Chapter 5: Educating Global Citizens in the Cold War 121
Part III: Diversity
Chapter 6: Higher Education Confronts the Rights Revolution 165
Chapter 7: Conclusion: The Private Marketplace of Identity in an Age of Diversity 214
Appendix: A: Graphical Portrait of American Higher Education in the Twentieth Century 235