Brand New America : A Memoir of the Great Depression and the GI Bill, by Suberman, Stella
- ISBN: 9781572338555 | 1572338555
- Cover: Hardcover
- Copyright: 8/19/2012
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"Besides the Depression experience, Suberman treats life during World War II, racism, the ennui of soldiers after the war, and the promise brought by the GI Bill, as well as changes veterans had undergone as reflected in their behavior as students after the war. Readers will find the book and the writing style enthralling." -Mark K. Bauman, editor, Southern Jewish History In her warm and witty new memoir, Stella Suberman charms readers with her personal perspective as she recalls the original 1940s G. I. Bill. As she writes of the bill and the epic events that spawned it, she manages, in her crisp way, to personalize and humanizes them in order to entertain and to educate. Although her story is in essence that of two Jewish families, it echoes the story of thousands of Americans of that period. Her narrative begins with her Southern family and her future husband's Northern one she designates herself and her husband as "Depression kids" as they struggle through the Great Depression. In her characteristically lively style, she recounts the major happenings of the era: the Bonus March of World War I veterans; the attack on Pearl Harb∨ the Roosevelt/New Deal years; the rise of Hitler's Nazi party and the Holocaust; the second World War; and the post-war period when veterans returned home to a collapsed and jobless economy. She then takes the reader to the moment when the G.I. Bill appeared, the glorious moment, as she writes, when returning veterans realized they had been given a future. As her husband begins work on his Ph.D., she focuses on the G.I. men and their wives as college life consumed them. It is the time also of Senator Joseph McCarthy and the "Red Scare," of the creation of an Israeli state, of the Korean War, and of other important issues, and she discusses them forthrightly. Throughout this section she writes of how the G.I.'s doggedly studied, engaged in critical thinking (perhaps for the first time), discovered their voices. As she suggests, it was not the 1930's anymore, and the G.I. Bill boys were poised to give America an authentic and robust middle class. Stella Suberman is the author of two popular and well-reviewed titles: The Jew Store and When It Was Our War. In its starred review, Booklistcalled The Jew Store"an absolute pleasure," and The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionwrote that it was "valuable history as well as a moving story." When It Was Our Warreceived a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and in another starred review, Kirkus Reviewsdescribed it as "Engaging . . . A remarkable story that resonates with intelligence and insight." Mrs. Suberman lives with her husband, Jack, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.