Olivier BurtinAug 3, 2023
A Nation of Veterans
War, Citizenship, and the Welfare State in Modern America
University of Pennsylvania Press 2022
In examining how the veterans' movement inscribed martial citizenship onto American law, politics, and culture, A Nation of Veterans: War, Citizenship, and the Welfare State in Modern America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022) offers a new history of the U.S. welfare state that highlights its longstanding connection with warfare. It shows how a predominantly white and male group such as military veterans was at the center of social policy debates in the interwar and postwar period and how women and veterans of color were often discriminated against or denied access to their benefits. It moves beyond the traditional focus on the 1944 G.I. Bill to examine other important benefits like pensions, civil service preference, and hospitals. The book also examines multiple generations of veterans, by shedding light on how former service members from both World Wars as well as Korea and the Cold War interacted with each other.
Olivier Burtin is Associate Professor of U.S. History and Civilization at the University of Amiens, France.
Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network.