As centerpiece to its sesquicentennial celebration in 2007-08, Iowa State University has commissioned a book to record, for the first time, the events and themes of the second half of the 20th century. Emphasizing the years from 1940-2000, this book builds on an earlier history of the University by Earle Ross. The authors, familiar with (knowledgeable about) ISU and expert in their subject area, have meticulously researched and skillfully written ten chapters that treat specific decades, particular administrations, or key topics of interest.
Written in a lively narrative style, this anthology encompasses a wealth of information. The authors have focused on appealing to the largest possible audience of Iowa State University supporters and well-wishers: alumni, faculty and staff, and fans throughout the state of Iowa. Some will want to read it from cover to cover; others will dip in to relive their years on campus or to pursue a favorite topic like student life or athletics. To enhance the historical narrative, entertaining vignettes about students, faculty and administrative leaders, and alumni appear throughout the book.
Generously illustrated with black-and-white photographs, this book invites casual browsing. Its attractive design increases visual appeal by using a clean, open layout and readable type. To ensure its value as a gift book, a handsome full-color jacket and 8 x 11 format make it suitable for coffee table display wherever loyal Iowa Staters gather.
Part 1 contains 4 chapters, leading off with a survey of the major developments of Iowa State College?s first 80 years, followed by a chronological approach to the years from 1940 forward that highlights presidential administrations. Part 2 broadens the book?s coverage with 6 chapters telling the ISU story from the perspective of topics such as the physical landscape of campus, the national and international impacts of the University, and Iowa State athletics through the years.
This broad-brushed overview of ISU history is rich with detail yet emphasizes the grand themes that defined the nation?s first land-grant university.