More Than Science and Sputnik: The National Defense Education Act of 1958

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University of Alabama Press, Jun 17, 2010 - Education - 247 pages
A behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the National Defense Education Act.

Sparked by dramatic Soviet achievements, particularly in nuclear technology and the development of the Sputnik space orbiter, the United States responded in the late 1950s with an extraordinary federal investment in education. Designed to overcome a perceived national failure to produce enough qualified scientists, engineers, and mathematicians to compete with the Communist bloc, the effort resulted in the National Defense Education Act of 1958 (NDEA). Representative Carl Elliott and Senator Lister Hill both from Alabama, and then Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Elliot Richardson were the prime movers in shaping of this landmark legislation.

More than Science and Sputnik analyzes primary documents of the three leaders to describe the political process that established the NDEA. The book illustrates what the assumptions of the key players were, and why they believed the act was needed.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Lister Hill Federal Aid to Education and Alabama Politics
10
2 Carl Elliott Liberal Politics and the Gospel of Education
42
3 Dwight D Eisenhower Elliot Richardson and the National Defense Education Act
73
A Mixed Response a Missed Opportunity and an Expanded Agency
106
Maintaining the Momentum
136
6 NDEA 1958 to 1965
172
7 NDEA in Perspective
202
Notes
215
Index
239
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Wayne J. Urban is Associate Director of the Education Policy Center and Professor of Higher Education Administration at The University of Alabama.

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