"I first began to appreciate fully all we owed the World War II generation while I was covering the fortieth and fiftieth anniversaries of D-Day for NBC News. When I wrote in The Greatest Generation about the men and women who came out of the Depression, who won great victories and made lasting sacrifices in World War II and then returned home to begin building the world we have today-the people I called the Greatest Generation-it was my way of saying thank you. I felt that this tribute was long overdue, but I was not prepared for the avalanche of letters and responses touched off by that book. Members of that generation were, characteristically, grateful for the attention and modest about their own lives as they shared more remarkable stories about their experiences in the Depression and during the war years. "Their children and grandchildren were eager to share the lessons and insights they gained from the stories they heard about the lives of a generation now passing on too swiftly.
Brokaw's TV anchorman voice is deep and reassuring, with a remarkable air of patriarchal authority. With so much puff-chested attitude, he launches into this tape's introduction, explaining that the letters and comments contained came to him in a responsive outpouring in reaction to his book The Greatest Generation, which chronicled the varied experiences of World War II veterans. For him, these missives expressed a shared sense of "values," since lost in American life. The material itself is far less posturing, mostly clear-eyed remembrances from former soldiers, medics, clergy and reporters who served in Europe and Asia. From the home front come stories from women munitions workers, war widows and war orphans. Finally, the author tells of making efforts to reunite parties long-ago separated by tragic events. Here, the matters described move vividly into the present, giving the program a sense of real drama and pathos. Based on the 1999 Random hardcover. (Dec.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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October 10, 2005
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