1968 with Tom Brokaw (History Channel)
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Now, legendary award-winning journalist and best-selling author Tom Brokaw commemorates the revolutionary events of this pivotal year in a feature-length special, based on his book, Boom!: Voices of the Sixties Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today. Drawing upon his decades of experience, Brokaw revisits the scenes of these iconic events, pairing provocative voices from the past and present to explore how these 40-year-old moments still impact our lives today.
DVD Features: Interviews with Tom Brokaw
Interviews with a wide spectrum of voices offer a personal perspective on what was happening here. They include a glib Arlo Guthrie, whose classic Alice's Restaurant crystallized growing anti-war ferment, an earnest Bruce Springsteen, and Andrew Young, who was with Dr. King when he was gunned down. An inspired pairing is kindred spirits Tommy Smothers, who, with his brother, Dick, brought the counterculture into America's living rooms with The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and Jon Stewart of The Daily Show. But most effective are the ordinary citizens whose lives took extraordinary turns in 1968. We meet an army nurse and wounded Vietnam vet, who married and now offer counseling to injured vets of the war in Iraq. David Smith, founder of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic, decries the destructive legacy of drugs. The program ends, as did 1968, on a moment of hope and triumph as the Apollo 8 astronauts circle the moon, and newly elected President Nixon promises to "bring us together." Leave it to Buchanan to posit that 1968 was the beginning of the culture wars that would lead to the Red and Blue state divide of 2004. Still, a year that gave us 2001: A Space Odyssey, pitcher Denny McLain's 30-win season, and "the San Francisco Sound" can't be all bad. 1968 is an illuminating time capsule. --Donald Liebenson
- Tom Brokaw's personal perspective on the culture of the 1960s
- Additional interviews with Arlo Guthrie, Rafer Johnson, Mark Rudd, Tommy Smothers, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, and Andrew Young
Top Customer Reviews
Brokaw's companion piece to his book "Boom: Voices of the Sixties" reviews the most significant events in this turbulent year and places the events in their historical context. The Tet offensive in Vietnam, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, student uprisings, the Chicago Democratic Convention and increasing black militancy all receive balanced treatment. In addition, the documentary examines the evolving New Left, civil rights and counter culture movements, as well as the reaction to them on the part of the larger "silent majority." The beginnings of the feminist movement are also described.
Brokaw's interviews include participants in events as well as people who experienced them from the outside. Events are treated with balance, as when the Chicago convention riots are described by both a policeman and a protestor who were present that night. Pat Buchanan is especially effective at highlighting how 1968 became a pivotal year for the rise of conservatism in presidential politics.
The program suffers from some sloppy and inattentive editing. For example, the interview of the army nurse in Vietnam only includes part of a story which, in the book version, helps explain the deep emotional impact of the war on her life. Also, the Arlo Guthrie segment on "Alice's Restaurant" comes across as a sentimental sing-along, and misses an opportunity to use the song to highlight the attitudes of many young people toward the military draft.Read more ›
In "1968 With Tom Brokaw," he applies this formula to this "pivotal" year, contending that, "The people who lived through that time have stories to tell that help us understand the country we are today." "1968" alludes briefly to sports, music, and films, but its emphasis is primarily on military, social, and political developments, taken more or less in chronological order: The Tet offensive, the hippie movement, race relations, women's liberation, the McCarthy and Kennedy primary campaigns, the political conventions, the Humphrey-Nixon campaign, and a hopeful account of Apollo 8's trip to the moon.
"1968" draws on contemporary newsreels, Brokaw's personal recollections, and the contributions of a large group of commentators. The original images from 1968 are the strongest part of this documentary. For older viewers, they will bring back memories; for younger viewers, they will convey an idea of what went on in this troubled year. Brokaw's personal experiences are less compelling than those of his commentators, among whom are such political operatives as Sam Brown, Pat Buchanan, Jeff Greenfield, and Rafer Johnson; and activists Mark Rudd, Cleveland Sellers, and Andrew Young. For some reason, Brokaw seems to think that musicians have special insights on this year--among the commentators are Arlo Guthrie, Michelle Phillips, Bruce Springsteen, and James Taylor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The History Channel program "1968 with Tom Brokaw" is a very good look back on one of the most important years in the entire history of the United States. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Janet Chandler
LOVE this documentary and I am so happy to finally own it.Published 17 months ago by Suzanne Hoffman
Having lived in San Francisco and going to school and teaching during this era, this was the most accurate depiction of the 60s.Published 21 months ago by Peter L. Tarantino
It was a little dated when the show was produced , but it was definitely accurate and well developed for mePublished on May 24, 2014 by Amazon Customer
It just didn't have all the stuff I expected. I bought it to teach my 18yr old son about the era.Published on August 25, 2013 by Denise Bliss
The History Channel produced this documentary about the crazy and chaotic year of 1968 that is hosted and narrated by NBC's Tom Brokow. Mr. Read morePublished on August 13, 2013 by Joe Owen
All though I'm old enough to say I lived through this time and remember most of what I saw and heard on the disc. Tom Brokaw tells it better than I remember. Read morePublished on June 5, 2013 by Michael R Miranda
Could not believe the memories this video brought back. The footage is incredible. A must have for anyone that lived through the 60'sPublished on December 15, 2011 by michael s. meyers
You cannot separate this year from the incredible rock music that helped define it, yet what you get in this so-so documentary is fake 60's music that is meant to sound like it... Read morePublished on November 23, 2011 by CB