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Boom!: Voices of the Sixties Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today Hardcover – November 6, 2007
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In The Greatest Generation, his landmark bestseller, Tom Brokaw eloquently evoked for America what it meant to come of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War. Now, in Boom!, one of Americas premier journalists gives us an epic portrait of another defining era in America as he brings to life the tumultuous Sixties, a fault line in American history. The voices and stories of both famous people and ordinary citizens come together as Brokaw takes us on a memorable journey through a remarkable time, exploring how individual lives and the national mindset were affected by a controversial era and showing how the aftershocks of the Sixties continue to resound in our lives today. In the reflections of a generation, Brokaw also discovers lessons that might guide us in the years ahead. Boom! One minute it was Ike and the man in the grey flannel suit, and the next minute it was time to turn on, tune in, drop out. While Americans were walking on the moon, Americans were dying in Vietnam. Nothing was beyond question, and there were far fewer answers than before. Published as the fortieth anniversary of 1968 approaches, Boom! gives us what Brokaw sees as a virtual reunion of some members of the class of 68, offering wise and moving reflections and frank personal remembrances about peoples lives during a time of high ideals and profound social, political, and individual change. What were the gains, what were the losses? Who were the winners, who were the losers? As they look back decades later, what do members of the Sixties generation think really mattered in that tumultuous time, and what will have meaning going forward? Race, war, politics, feminism, popular culture, and music are all explored here, and we learn from a wide range of people about their lives. Tom Brokaw explores how members of this generation have gone on to bring activism and a Sixties mindset into individual entrepreneurship today. We hear stories of how this formative decade has le
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It's still remarkable to recall how many truly world and culture changing events and movements emanated from the 1960's. Brokaw had a front row seat to all of the changes due to his career as a journalist with great access to newsmakers and a well-honed ability to discern the importance of the events.
Brokaw brings together in "Boom" the voices of the 60's - some famous, some not so famous and writes that "For the most part, I am like the old class president at this reunion. I call on others and then let them have their say. I am here as a journalist but also as a citizen, a grandfather now and a young man then." Part One of the book is titled "Something's Happening Here" and discussed Brokaw's early life and career and the deep divisions that tore through the country. Part Two is "Aftershocks - Consequences, Intended and Otherwise", and is organized around a series of interviews with people who lived through the times or were affected by the events of the 60's. Part Three is a brief section titled "Reflections - Seeing What Connects". The final section, titled Timeline, is a very effective of summarizing the events of the 60's, listing briefly by date events starting with King's "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963, and concluding with the resignation of President Nixon in 1974.
"Boom" brings us recollections and reflections from many who lived through those times and effected change or were affected by it. The legacy of those years remains with us 40-50 years later, and there are many important history lessons to be gained.
What was missing, I thought, was a more thorough analysis by one of the country's best journalists about what the sixties meant both then and now. Brokaw allowed his interviewees to comment but he didn't really give me much of his opinions. I would have liked that.