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Images out of the World War II era



 Now, only $ 35.00! Save $100.00

An anthology and source book about the GI Bill student generation from 1946-52.

This untold social history tells about student activism and civic engagement in the U.S. prior to the 1960's -- how idealistic college youth of the post-World War II era forged a new student organization dedicated to building a better world.

This history also explores:

  • Depression era pre-war student movements and leaders
  • International student travel and organization during the Cold War
  • Anti-discrimination and racial integration initiatives leading to the civil rights movement
  • The role of Protestant and Catholic groups in launching NSA during the "Red Scare" era.
  • The influence of liberal groups and the emergence of the conservative student movement.

The volume consists of:

  • 144 essays, memoirs and excerpts from historical works,
  • 4,000 photos, clippings and document images arranged in albums and sidebars,
  • 1244 pages including four indexes by name, subject, college and college newspaper, and author.  


Synopsis Themes (20-page pdf)  
Contents, Brief   (4-page pdf)
Contents, Full
(18-page pdf)  
Sample spreads
Student visions, 1946-50 (pdf)  
Resource Directory and Links

Upcoming events   (to come)
Blog, comment  (to come)
Press room   (to come)

Anthology Project Committee  (pdf)
Anthology Charitable Trust (pdf) 

How much do you know about US student organization history?

Site map

Published by the American Council on Education / Praeger. Produced by the USNSA Anthology Project.

Extracts from reviews    Full texts are in pdf format

"Told a half century later, the tale of the nationís oldest and largest student group traces the emergence of a contemporary ideal:  the college student as a highly engaged engine of civic action. . . . The bulk of American Students Organize explores the associationís early golden years and the groundwork it laid for social changes on and off the nationís campuses." Eric Hoover, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 17, 2006. (Full text).

"An absolutely indispensable reference work . . . a story book of almost magical dimensions . . .  a lasting contribution to our understanding of the post World War II era, and the history of higher education in that era.Ē Thomas Ehrlich, Senior Scholar, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, President Emeritus, Indiana University. Author: Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, (Full text).

"This is a remarkably informative and insightful treatment of a wonderful example of leadership taken by young people at a critical time . . . We are planning to establish a leadership center at Williams, and this would be a prized item there." James MacGregor Burns, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Political Science, Williams College, MA. Pulitzer Prize winner.  Former President, American Political Science Association. Author: Leadership; The Lion and the Fox; Roosevelt: Soldier of Freedom. (Full text).

"Not only those absorbed in student politics, but readers interested in the cold war and the course of American liberalism will be attracted to this sparkling, engagingly illustrated book." William E. Leuchtenberg, William Rand Kenan Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina. Former President: American Historical Association; Organization of American Historians. Author: The FDR Years; Roosevelt and the New Deal. (Full text).

"The excitement of this book is in the many stories it tells... giving abundant insight and rich detail from a unique era of American history . . . a priceless resource."  Stanley O. Ikenberry, President, American Council on Education, 1979-1995, President Emeritus, University of Illinois.(Full text).


"Catholic students' part in the NSA is integrated throughout the book and not treated separately. What becomes evident in American Students is the fact that the history of the NSA holds particular significance for the historian of American Catholicism because of the role it played in enabling Catholic student involvement in international politics." Helen M. Ciernick, Santa Clara University, The Catholic Historical Review, October 2007. (Full text).

"Vivid, galvanizing, urgent . . . Every college and public library, every class concerned with public matters requires this book." Blanche Wiesen Cook, University Distinguished Professor, John Jay College & The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Author: The Declassified Eisenhower; Eleanor Roosevelt, vols. I & II; forthcoming vol. III. (Full text).

"I can easily imagine [the book] used fruitfully in college courses in American history, political movements and higher education . . .  students will find the book instructive and inspiring." Julie A. Reuben, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education. Author: Making of the Modern University; forthcoming Politics and the American University in the 1960's. (Full text).

"A remarkable accomplishment . . . No one has ever brought together so much valuable and disparate documentation from from student newspapers of the period to personal reminiscences of the key NSA leaders."  Philip G. Altbach, Monan Professor of Higher Education Lynch School of Education, Boston College. Author: Student Politics in America; The Student Internationals. (Full text).

"A required acquisition for reference and research libraries. Social historians, professors of education, engaged students, and citizens concerned with leadership development will significantly profit from this collection." Harold Wechsler, Professor of Education, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University. Co-editor, The History of Higher Education, Editor, The NEA Almanac of Higher Education. (Full text).


"American Students Organize furnishes student affairs professionals with information, if not conclusive evidence, about the connections among student participation in leadership activities and student success in later life. .. . . . The widespread use of photographs and original documents gives the book an almost scrapbook-like quality. It achieves the stated goal of 'putting a human face on the NSA.'" Linda P. Rowe, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Center for American History, NASPA; National Association of School Personnel Administrators Journal 2008, Vol. 45, no. 4. (Full text).

University of Texas at Austin:
Don Carleton, Director and J. R. Parten Chair in the Archives of American History.

    "The project has great value and the proposed book will be a significant contribution to knowledge . . . [It] promises to shed new light on . . . important topics, including the domestic cold war, the civil rights movement, and the creation of the Peace Corps."
(Full text)

The Hoover Insitute, Hoover Institution Archives:
    "We would like to add this book to our archival collections about NSA, and think that it will indeed be of use and interest to scholars researching student movements in the years following World War II."  (Full text)

Wisconsin Historical Society:
Ellsworth H. Brown, Director.
    "[The Anthology] promises to be an important chronicle of student leadership beginning with the contributions of 'The Greatest Generation" . . . The Wisconsin Historical Society is proud to be the repository for NSA's papers and photographs . . . spanning the years from 1946 to 2000." (Full text)

Kathy Borkwoski, Editorial Director, Wisconsin Historical Society Press.
    "A visually stunning book . . . More than a chronicle of NSAís history, this book brings to life the actions of thousands of young people.Ē
(Full text)