SHARE Library

Beyond the Bonus March and GI Bill: how veteran politics shaped the New Deal era

This volume chronicles how veteran politics influenced U.S. federal policy during the 1930s and 1940s, illuminating how veterans and veteran organizations pushed the federal government to place their interests front and center on the national agenda. The author presents a history of World War I veterans and their efforts to organize into a political interest group. He examines the benefits that the veterans secured, including state pensions and bonuses and the affect they had on the New Deal era. He demonstrates that veterans participated in an active political life, following the publicized Bonus March as they staged smaller marches, lobbied politicians, and threatened to undermine President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's (FDR) prospects for reelection in 1936. The author demonstrates how federal policy -- and, by extension, American political culture -- underwent a fundamental shift to embrace the needs of veterans by furnishing them with health care benefits, pensions, job training programs, education, and housing.