The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw

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"In the spring of 1984, I went to the northwest of France, to Normandy, to prepare an NBC documentary on the fortieth anniversary of D-Day, the massive and daring Allied invasion of Europe that marked the beginning of the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. There, I underwent a life-changing experience. As I walked the beaches with the American veterans who had returned for this anniversary, men in their sixties and seventies, and listened to their stories, I was deeply moved and profoundly grateful for all they had done. Ten years later, I returned to Normandy for the fiftieth anniversary of the invasion, and by then I had come to understand what this generation of Americans meant to history. It is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced."

In this superb book, Tom Brokaw goes out into America, to tell through the stories of individual men and women the story of a generation, America's citizen heroes and heroines who came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War and went on to build modern America. This generation was united not only by a common purpose, but also by common values—duty, honor, economy, courage, service, love of family and country, and, above all, responsibility for oneself. In this book, you will meet people whose everyday lives reveal how a generation persevered through war, and were trained by it, and then went on to create interesting and useful lives and the America we have today.

In this book you'll meet people like Charles Van Gorder, who set up during D-Day a MASH-like medical facility in the middle of the fighting, and then came home to create a clinic and hospital in his hometown. You'll hear George Bush talk about how, as a Navy Air Corps combat pilot, one of his assignments was to read the mail of the enlisted men under him, to be sure no sensitive military information would be compromised. And so, Bush says, "I learned about life." You'll meet Trudy Elion, winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine, one of the many women in this book who found fulfilling careers in the changed society as a result of the war. You'll meet Martha Putney, one of the first black women to serve in the newly formed WACs. And you'll meet the members of the Romeo Club (Retired Old Men Eating Out), friends for life.

Through these and other stories in The Greatest Generation, you'll relive with ordinary men and women, military heroes, famous people of great achievement, and community leaders how these extraordinary times forged the values and provided the training that made a people and a nation great.


About Tom Brokaw

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Tom Brokaw is the author of five bestsellers: The Greatest Generation, The Greatest Generation Speaks, An Album of Memories, A Long Way From Home, and Boom! A native of South Dakota, he graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in political science. He joined NBC News in 1966, serving as the White House correspondent during Watergate and anchoring Today on NBC from 1976 to 1981. He was the sole anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw from 1983 to 2005. He continues to report for NBC News, producing award-winning long-form documentaries and providing expertise during breaking news events. Brokaw has won every major award in broadcast journalism, including two DuPonts, a Peabody, and several Emmys. He is a regular contributor to the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, and to Time, Newsweek, and Men's Journal. He lives in New York and Montana.
Published February 23, 2000 by Random House. 464 pages
Genres: History, War, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Greatest Generation

Scholars And Rogues

Yes, it has low barriers to entry, the hours are good, it has a certain shabby chic status and job security, but it’s tedious, you spend your time around unhappy peers who bitch all the time, and you don’t make any money.

Oct 16 2014 | Read Full Review of The Greatest Generation

World War II Database

unfortunately, The Greatest Generation was meant to be a book praising the achievements of a past generation, so to get a complete picture of less glorious side of things that were outside the scope of this title I would recommend picking up other titles to complement The Greatest Generation.

May 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Greatest Generation

Internet Monk

At the end of the 19th century the younger generation, represented by people like Theodore Roosevelt, worried that they could not measure up to the Civil War generation.

Nov 11 2010 | Read Full Review of The Greatest Generation

On The Issues

But few people know the structure of this book: Brokaw tells the story of dozens of members of the "greatest generation", some just regular people, some who became famous later.

Jul 04 2012 | Read Full Review of The Greatest Generation

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