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Grant number like: FT-52967-04

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James Terence Sparrow
University of Chicago (Chicago, IL 60637-5418)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2004 – 8/31/2004

Fighting over the American Soldier: National Citizenship in American Political Culture, 1936-53

Part of a broader book-length history of how ordinary Americans learned to accept "big government" as legitimate despite the anti-statism and individualism of U.S. political culture, this project examines the experiences of GIs in World War II and the Korean War. These "citizen soldiers" profoundly influenced American political culture at mid-century, thanks to the centrality of the combat soldier as a sort of culture hero in WWII and the Cold War. Soldiers’ insistence on the centrality of national security to government legitimacy constrained the activities of the newly expanded state, keeping the full benefits of national citizenship restricted mainly to white men who performed some sort of military service.