This book isn't for everyone. If you have an interest in World War II, and the men and women who served the United States during that conflict, then I highly recommend this one. Tom Brokow, Managing Editor for NBC Nightly News, former White House correspondent and award winning journalist traveled to Normandy, the site of the D-Day invasion in June, 1944 to produce a documentary celebrating the 40th anniversary of that event. While there, he had the opportunity to meet and interview many of the American veterans who fought in that epic conflict. Those meetings, the people he spent time with and listened to, would have a profound influence on Brokow, and was the catalyst for this book.
Tom Brokow determined that what the men and women of America had done, while not sweeping aside what was endured on the European continent, has impacted just about every facet of American life since the US entered the war, and still endures today.
The book is broken down into specific sections, the most interesting to me was the ordinary people he recalls, the people from middle America, from big cities and small towns, where they came from, what they experienced, and what they did when they got home. Brokow also impressed me because he included a section on Women in Uniform and Out, unusual because most times, we tend to forget the women, both on the home front and behind the lines. Just what motivated these stay at home women and girls to learn to fly an airplane, build a Libery Ship, and volunteer as nurses at the front is a testament to the committment of the entire nation to the war effort.
There are some compelling profiles of black Americans, spanish Americans, and Japanese Americans, and what they endured to fight for their nation. Makes one proud and ashamed at the same time.
Of course, he does include some important, notable and recognizable names ; George Bush, Robert Dole, Julia Child (immediate response - you have got the be kidding Tom!) and Daniel Inouye. His take on these people is memorable because he doesn't necessarily expound on who they are and what they do today, but rather how WWII changed them, and prompted them to make the decisions that led them to continued service to our nation.
As I said at the get-go, this book isn't for the reader looking for fun and games, adventure and excitement. It is a book that makes a person think. And, if you are young and don't know very much about WWII (or only know pats of it, from your own natinal perspective), and wonder some days, how we got to where we are as as international community and as friends and allies, then maybe this is one book that might help you understand the American side of the equation.
Title: The Greatest Generation