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Boom!: Voices of the Sixties Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today Hardcover – November 6, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
There's less heroism in Brokaw's profiles of the baby boom cohort than there was in his salute to The Greatest Generation, but there's still plenty of drama. Almost everyone the author interviews (famous boomers like Arlo Guthrie, Hillary Clinton and Karl Rove along with many unsung contemporaries) describes a personal journey through the upheavals of the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, women's liberation, the counterculture, the rise of the New Left or the birth of the New Right. Callow students became radicalized, restless housewives forged careers, musicians spiraled into addiction, disgusted erstwhile liberals trekked rightward, everyone—except Dick Cheney, Brokaw mentions—questioned authority. Unlike Brokaw's celebratory and elegiac previous book, this one is steeped in retrospective ambivalence; conservatives look back on the era with disdain, and even unreconstructed lefties feel misgivings about its excesses. As an NBC correspondent, Brokaw was a keen (if careful nonparticipant) observer of the '60s and contributes his own neutral but engaging gloss on developments, along with personal recollections of everyone from Bobby Kennedy to Hunter S. Thompson. He may not always know what to make of it all, but Brokaw's profiles do convey the decade's diverse experiences, its roiling energies and its centrality in the making of modern America. Photos.
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About the Author
Tom Brokaw is the author of four bestsellers: The Greatest Generation, The Greatest Generation Speaks, An Album of Memories, and A Long Way from Home. From 1976 to 1981 he anchored Today on NBC. He was the sole anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw from 1983 to 2004.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
bias shows and makes this book a typical piece of liberal propaganda.