NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A heartwarming gift for the holidays—a powerful selection of the letters Tom Brokaw received in response to his towering #1 bestseller The Greatest Generation.
“When I wrote 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. But I was not prepared for the avalanche of letters and responses touched off by that book. I had written a book about America, and now America was writing back.”—Tom Brokaw
In the phenomenal bestseller The Greatest Generation, Tom Brokaw paid affecting tribute to those who gave the world so much—and who left an enduring legacy of courage and conviction. The Greatest Generation Speaks collects the vast outpouring of letters Brokaw received from men and women eager to share their intensely personal stories of a momentous time in America’s history. Some letters tell of the front during the war, others recall loved ones in harm’s way in distant places. They offer first-hand accounts of battles, poignant reflections on loneliness, exuberant expressions of love, and somber feelings of loss.
As Brokaw notes, “If we are to heed the past to prepare for the future, we should listen to these quiet voices of a generation that speaks to us of duty and honor, sacrifice and accomplishment. I hope more of their stories will be preserved and cherished as reminders of all that we owe them and all that we can learn from them.”
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.