1st Edition

Transforming American Science Universities, the Government, and the Cold War

By Jonathan Engel Copyright 2023
    292 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Transforming American Science documents the ways in which federal funds catalyzed or accelerated changes in both university culture and the broader system of American higher education during the post-World War II decades.

    The events of the book lie within the context of the Cold War, when pressure to maintain parity with the Soviet Union impelled more generous government spending and a willingness of some universities to reorient their missions in the service of country and of science. The book draws upon a substantial amount of archival research conducted in various university archives (MIT, Berkeley, Stanford) as well as at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and various presidential libraries. Author Jonathan Engel considers the repurposing of the wartime Manhattan Engineering District and the Office of Naval Research to robust peacetime roles in supporting the nation's expanding research efforts, along with the birth of the National Science Foundation, space exploration, and atoms for peace among other topics.

    This volume is the perfect resource for all those interested in Cold War history and in the history of American science and technology policy.

    1. Introduction: The Government’s Role 2. Wartime Efforts 3. Postwar Realignment and the Office of Naval Research 4. The Atomic Energy Commission 5. The National Science Foundation 6. University Labs, National Labs, and the Culture of Science 7. Science, the Hot War, and the Race to the Hydrogen Bomb 8. Power, Plowshare, and Peaceful Atoms 9. Satellites, Rockets, and Thinking About Space 10. New Frontiers: Training, Research, and Manpower, 1960–1968 11. The Space Race and Natonal Prestige 12. Epilogue


    Jonathan Engel is Professor of Public Affairs at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College (CUNY). He writes about the historical evolution of US health and social welfare policy. His previous books include Doctors and Reformers: Discussion and Debate on Health Policy, 1925–1950; Poor People's Medicine: Medicaid and American Charity Care Since 1965; and Fat Nation: Obesity in America Since 1945.