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2 Eugene G. Schwartz

my degree, no longer seemed to be relevant to my interests. (2)

The GI Bill made it possible for middle- and working-class young men and women who were veterans to break away from both their provincial roots and their economic imperatives, and to so broaden their outlooks and careers that they energized America as never before. I believe that it is not possible to overemphasize how this process accelerated the erosion of the barriers of race, class, region, ethnicity, religion, and gender that stood in the way of attaining the equal opportunity that the American system promised, and that it fulfilled, even with its inequities, to a greater extent than any other society. This was the process that most energized me.

A nation with a conscience

The America I returned to after the war was a nation with a newly awakened conscience, ready to expand the horizons it had already reached. This conscience had been stirred by the horrors and tragedies experienced in Europe and Asia during the war. It was prodded by the injustice and brutality wreaked by the Axis war machines in the cause of racial superiority. There appeared to be nothing but opportunity ahead. The

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