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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The moral demarcation lines were etched more clearly too.
Although less journalistic and more tributary in nature, this book hearkens back to a time that people of my generation still yearn for; a diffuse monochrome tapestry of what was once an ideal and simpler time. Or was it? Certainly there was greater emphasis placed on drawing distinctions between right and wrong, good and evil; but it seems that my memory, not unlike...
Published on Feb. 10 1999 by kirkusreviews

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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, though shallow
When I finally did get around to reading this huge bestseller, I was met with pretty much what I had expected...a breezy, movie-like collection of WWII memories. What this 35-year old gets from Mr. Brokaw's book is that the generation that fought World War II was more honest, harder-working, more dedicatated to their spouses, and more blindly patriotic than succeeding...
Published on Jan. 20 2003 by Gary Schroeder


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The moral demarcation lines were etched more clearly too., Feb. 10 1999
Although less journalistic and more tributary in nature, this book hearkens back to a time that people of my generation still yearn for; a diffuse monochrome tapestry of what was once an ideal and simpler time. Or was it? Certainly there was greater emphasis placed on drawing distinctions between right and wrong, good and evil; but it seems that my memory, not unlike this book, perhaps, suffers a bit from reflective glossing. It's unlikely that any soldier sprawled out face-first on a French beachhead was reminiscing fondly about how good his life had been to that point. But certainly the demarcation lines were more clearly illustrated...Hitler was a malevolent sociopath and Churchill, a divine leader. I just wished this book had fleshed-out more of those gray areas. In fact, I recently had the opportunity to read a story about our most recent war, the war on drugs, and was captured by the multiple hues of gray that speckled the author's canvas. The book, "C.I.A.: Cocaine In America," was one of the most engrossing and moving stories it has been my displeasure to read. That's right, the zeitgeist of this tortuous tale of ambiguous ethics and diffuse government operations is such that it captures best what is so different about society today versus fifty years ago. I used the word displeasure not as a means of demonstrating my disdain for this book, but rather my discomfort for how modern-day heroes are treated both by our government and by the media as compared to that "Greatest Generation." Read both of these books back-to-back and you will see what I mean.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, Jan. 14 2014
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My husband always enjoyed Tom Brokaw's reports and asked for this book. He has enjoyed reading about things that he remembers from the past and learning things he did not know before about.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Looking back to the World War 2 when I was a youth-- this is a very special book, Feb. 6 2013
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Having survived the rain of bombs in Hamburg , Germany , when I was 12 years old , I found this book exceptional in capturing
the feelings of the times. There are experiences on both sides of the war that one can read about or know about but having been there is quite another thing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Paying Tribute to Brave Americans, May 31 2004
By 
V. L. Wilson "V. L. Wilson" (Devon, Pennsylvania USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I recommend this excellent book of true stories from the memories of brave men and women and their families who lived thru the great depression and fought in the second world war.
Tom Brokaw walked the beaches of Normandy with American veterans who had returned for the fortieth anniversary of D-Day. He was inspired to reach out and collect individual stories from those difficult years so we will never forget the horrors of that war, the sacrifices by our service men and women and their families, and the results that followed.
Finally, a memorial to this generation has been dedicated in Washington D.C. on this, the sixtieth anniversary of D-Day. THE GREATEST GENERATION should occupy a place in our home library, among the works of other historians. You will recognize some of the people in this book, you will be amazed at the achievements and the courage of these ordinary people who survived a perilous time in American history, and you will reflect on your own memories of that time if you are "over sixty".
The author acquaints us with some of his own family history and why he feels it important for us to be forever grateful to all those who defend our American freedom and democracy. I thoroughly enjoyed this well researched and well written book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars They saved the world...and built modern America......, May 30 2004
By 
Alex Diaz-Granados "fardreaming writer" (Miami, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The term Greatest Generation might smack of journalistic hyperbole or nationalistic jingoism, but the more I read the works of Stephen E. Ambrose (D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II, Band of Brothers) or watch any of the documentaries about World War II -- especially on this 60th Anniversary of the D-Day landings and other landmark battles of history's largest clash of arms -- that will air from Memorial Day till June 6, the more I am inclined to agree with Tom Brokaw's use of that term to describe the men and women who came of age in the 1930s and '40s and created modern America.
Brokaw, one of America's best television journalists and anchor of NBC's Nightly News, not only coined the phrase "the Greatest Generation" when he wrote this amazingly fascinating and inspiring collection of personality profiles of men and women, some famous (Bob Dole, Julia Child, George H.W. Bush), some not-so-famous but prominent (Norman Mineta, Daniel Inouye), and some neither prominent nor famous yet vitally essential (Leonard Lomell, Jeanette Gagne Norton) who either saw combat, contributed to the war effort, or endured the hardships of being separated from loved ones without succumbing to fear or giving in to selfishness or self-pity.
In the same concise yet utterly convincing style of his network news writing, Brokaw draws the reader into his chronicles of 50 men and women whose experiences encompass a wide spectrum of the American World War II experience. He captures, for instance, humorist Art Buchwald's seemingly unlikely stint as a Marine in the South Pacific, at first (and almost disastrously) loading ordnance onto Marine Corsair fighter-bombers, then more wisely reassigned to work on the squadron's newsletter and drive trucks. In five pages, Brokaw wonderfully gets the essence of Buchwald's satiric-yet-gentle personality, while at the same time revealing that the least-likely-to-be-a-Marine was given a parade by then-outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Colin Powell.
The Greatest Generation is full of vivid personality profiles like Buchwald's. Some, such as that of Len Lomell, highlight bravery in combat; others are like Jeanette Gagne Norton's, whose husband Camille Gagne was killed in Holland during Operation Market-Garden. The recollections Brokaw presents here are full of drama and laughter, of happiness, love, and sometimes shame, but there is no bitterness or self-pity. For these are the men and women that saved the world from tyranny...and made our country what it is today.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Generation, April 14 2004
The Greatest Generation is a beautiful tribute to the generation whose lives were most affected by WWII. The stories put together to form this book inspire the reader to live as a hero and fight through the trials of life today in 2004. Every story helps connect the reader with the heroes of that generation. This book inspires people of today to have respect for yesterdays heroes. I would recommend this book to people of all ages. It helps connect each and everyone of us to our past and helps us to respect one another as people, as a country, and as a community. This book highlights the struggles that our grandparents had when they were young and inspires us to overcome the little trials in our everyday lives.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!, April 13 2004
Tom Brokaw's novel The Greatest Generation was amazing! As a granddaughter of a WWII vet, I now look at my grandpa in a new light. Brokaw honestly tells the stories of average men and women that fought for our country in WWII. Everyone had different experiences but they all shared the same traits about caring more about others then themselves. I loved the stories about the heroes fighting for our country, but I was also impressed with the many women that also helped defend the country. My grandpa has never said much about the war, until recently. He is beginning to open up and many other vets are sharing their stories as well. Brokaw's novel was so direct yet unexpected with all the thoughts and feelings with all the vets. I love hearing about how these men protected our country and never second guessed why they were fighting the war. I believe, like Tom Brokaw, they are a great generation but I believe that there will be many more "Great Generations" to come. Another group of people will be put to the test and they will also show their colors. For now though, these men and women are truly the greatest generation that the US has produced. I only wish that we all had more time to learn from these individuals.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Generation, April 13 2004
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"The Greatest Generation" was inspiring. As a young adult I have yet to experience anything having to do with the war. The horror stories to me are exactly that, just stories. While reading this book I was taken aback. The generation today...Those kids at war now will return with many of the same experiences as those in World War II. It is unusual and sad to see the differences between "The Greatest Generation", and the generation today. The stories in this book are ones of hope, love, courage, bravery, and overcoming adversity. They are happy, sad, and inspiring. I enjoyed reading about those people that everyone has known or heard of, all the way to those people who go unheard and unspoken of. Tom Brokaw did a wonderful job capturing all aspects of World War II from the men in the middle of the battle, to the women fighting their own battles at home. Only time can tell how recent wars could potentially transform our generation into one similar to "The Greatest."
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting plot with wonderful detail!, Dec 8 2003
By 
Jill (Madison, Oh) - See all my reviews
The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw is a compelling novel with great significance to the men and women serving our country during World War Two. These brave men and women suffered through the Great Depression and yet somehow brought with them enough courage to give us the world we are living in today. In their hearts they knew what needed to be done and not a single soul held back from it. When reading the Greatest Generation you will come across people of different races, religion, and different societies. You will relive with famous people, ordinary people, and heroes that put their lives on the line during that time era. These American citizens were trained through their hearts day after day only to come across one of the worst battles history has ever known.
You will men such as Lloyd Kilmer, an aviation cadet, who was assigned to the 448 Bomb group. Or you will meet a man by the name of Gorden Larsen who would spend most of his life trying to put the war behind him and forget it. Women also played a major role in combat. One woman, Margaret Roy Ringenberg, was part of the WASP's and excelled in military aircraft. She gave flying lessons to others who admitted she was a far better trainer than any other instructor they had learned from.
When serving in World War Two the famous George Bush learned a lot about life. He was curiously inarticulate about the defining moments of the war. He considers his years as a navy combat flyer an extremely important part of his life's experiences. These people mentioned are only a few talked about in this book of remembrance, achievement, honor, and courage.
I enjoyed this book very much. I learned much detail about the war that I had never knew existed before this novel. These brave men and women have achieved so much in their life and I loved learning about each and every one of them. I look up to them for their accomplishments and have learned that the generation of World War Two was unlike any other.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good intentions but dragged down by Brokaw's opinions, Sept. 7 2003
"The Greatest Generation" has an admirable goal, but falls short due to the author's heavy-handed attempts to hammer his point in.
Tom Brokaw correctly recognizes the World War II era generation as one deserving of our gratitude and praise, and his approach to this subject is commendable. Brokaw provides portraits of the war's various participants ranging from minorities, women factory workers, the famous and the ordinary. However, Brokaw just can't let his subjects speak for themselves. He interrupts each narrative to make sure the reader understands why this is the greatest generation. If you are interested in a narrative history of World War II with no opinions clumsily inserted, I highly recommend Studs Terkel's "The Good War." Terkel demonstrates the incredible sacrifice and dedication of the WWII generation by picking a gamut of participants and lets their stories convince us that this was indeed a generation of heroes.
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The Greatest Generation
The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw (Paperback - Dec 7 1998)
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