I'm new here and am not an astronomer, physicist, or scientist by any means. I am a visual artist and I am working on a project to share my enthusiasm about space, raise awareness about the space program in light of recent events (last shuttle flight, soyuz crash) and budget cuts, and demonstrate a link between science and the arts.
My question is about some initial research I'm doing. Does anyone know of any good articles or books on the role of space program / NASA on the psyche of the American people? I'm trying to figure out if NASA has bolstered the American dream in some way, or set our national goals higher, or lift spirits in down times, etc. I think the Apollo missions certainly gave America some focus and drive in the 60's, but my initial research has indicated that most of the population wasn't actually behind JFK and his space push. So I'm looking for other sources that have some information on this subject, either for or against.
If you know of an article about any of these topics, please pass it along to me.