The GI Bill And The Story Of A Generation
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The GI Bill And The Story Of A Generation

Norm you benefited as did I would bet four five six million men of your generation from the GI bill %uh which as I understood it one of the reasons
for the GI bill was because the democratic administration roosevelt did not want there to be a repeat of the bonus march and the other problems
they had with the veterans and you know maybe you could
as you heard me say at lunch I’ve told people for years but I want you to explain it that I think the GI bill was the most
important piece of American domestic legislation ever with the exception of the emancipation proclamation you know you yourself went to
school on the GI bill
exactly they paid for it
explain what it meant to your generation my government is giving me a chance to go to a university and I don’t know what’s going to be the consequence of it but I’m going to benefit by it and it was in some ways rather bizarre because you had
young people and veterans considerably older in classrooms but in any event %uh I mean millions of guys went to
college on the G it turned a large share of the working
class into middle class white-collar workers that’s what it came down to some people %uh who became university professors
like you did %uh and people who became engineers people who would never have had a shot in this
society otherwise so it was a it was a fantastic thing and %uh it was one of the %uh results of %uh of the bonus March you mention in the book I forget whether it was said to Cassius
or by Cassius you know it’s not in our stars dear so and so but in ourselves that we are underlings that
which my father wanted me to put in my bar mitzvah speech yeah okay what do you think the relationship of that was to his life it’s what I was talking about before in terms
of you know you shape your own destiny and you keep pushing forward it’s interesting I wanted to make two points regarding
what you just said which is in terms of the slippery nature of
truth and how you can’t trust perception when my father %uh shortly before he died he was working
on what he called a memoir it was about five or six pages and it was about this doctor who inspired him doctor Eric Goldberg a very prominent Chicago physician and he wrote one of the last things he
wrote about of doctor Eric Goldberg this didn’t show up in the book I asked one of my father’s
good friends who also knew doctor Goldberg worst teacher I ever had aristocratic didn’t take any questions from students yeah
I hated that guy and the other thing I wanted to say in relation to norm and what he was saying is one of the
reasons I wrote this book the way I did not my own journey here’s what I did here’s what I came
up with is because I wanted not only my father’s stories to be
out there and preserved I wanted the stories of his generation and that’s why norm appears in a chapter that’s why his friend
Lenny primer appears in a chapter I wanted to try and get all their stories so it wasn’t in just a story of one guy and his relationship with me but the story of a generation and trying to get all those voices in there
as much as I could there’s a lot of stuff I had to leave on the cutting room floor for obvious reasons but bully for you that you did it thank you for the last fifteen twenty years we’ve been
hearing that we should have a lot of oral histories with
the veterans of world war two because %uh there’s not a lot of time left to
get those histories but invariably they’re talking about the military histories and that’s in a way a shame because these folks all lived through what became you know one of the most
formative periods of American history in general and %uh they created a lot of it in medicine engineering in business and so on and so forth and again you know so much of it goes
back to the GI bill which gave them all a chance %uh to go to to go to university as the English say a chance they would not otherwise have had

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