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An Album of Memories: Personal Histories…

An Album of Memories: Personal Histories from the Greatest Generation

by Tom Brokaw

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Tom Brokaw is certainly a respected news anchor and reporter, but younger readers, and older ones as well, owe him a great debt for collecting and saving these very personal stories from "the greatest generation". Often the most difficult part of aging is losing those people with whom you can share your memories. Frequently participants in great events are reluctant to speak about their experiences, feeling they will be too graphic, or worse, uninteresting to others. When the last survivor has passed on, there are only the textbooks, written by the victors and edited through the eyes of those who did not know these times. They will have their own agendas, and too often they are limited in space by publishers to a sentence or two, if the event is not eventually discarded altogether. Tom Brokaw has provided humankind with a great service and legacy of his own by preserving the stories of eye witnesses. No matter how prejudiced their viewpoint or imperfect their memories, these communications are from those who were there, and they give us their eyewitness view as history was being made. If some of the stories are somewhat repetitive or long-winded, this can be forgiven, since it is better to have too much of a story than not enough. Pick and choose your stories or read the book cover to cover, but leave it to the reader to be the editor, as any great reporter knows. ( )
  PhyllisHarrison | Feb 24, 2013 |
Tom Brokaw, one of the best and most prestigious journalists in America, argues that the dying World War II vets are the 'greatest generation.' ( )
  06nwingert | Oct 31, 2009 |
Further letters, reflections and photographs from the survivors of World War II and their families. All are interesting and moving, some especially poignant, particularly letters written by soldiers to loved ones just prior to their deaths. Anybody seeking to gain a further understanding for the times that defined this generation should read Brokaw's books. ( )
  burnit99 | Jan 1, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375505814, Hardcover)

Tom Brokaw has turned his popular book The Greatest Generation into a trilogy. After that first success came The Greatest Generation Speaks. Now there's An Album of Memories, a collection of letters and photos sent to Brokaw by readers who grew up during the Depression and came of age during World War II.

An Album of Memories simply overflows with nostalgia. "We were privileged to grow up in a time when honor, truth, loyalty, duty, and patriotism were real and meant something," writes Robert Cromer. Another correspondent, Douglas G. Fish, describes his own wartime experience--and that of many others--with an elegant simplicity: "I went in the service as a boy and came out a man." There are poignant letters from the dead. One reader submitted this one, sent home in 1942: "Dear Mom, I got your package and Dot's letter today. Boy, the cookies were swell, all the boys send their thanks. Not a one of them was crushed either." Almost exactly a year later, the writer was killed on a bombing run. Another man shares "the last letter my father wrote, three days before he died." It reads: "Tomorrow is D-Day at Iwo Jima--right on Japan's front doorstep--we will go in and lay nets sometime during the assault.... I have faith in God to help us through to victory but am prepared to die for America and face our Lord if He so wills it." The son who sent this letter to Brokaw wasn't even born until after his father had been killed: "I read [this letter] every year on Memorial Day, cry a lot, and think of what a hero he was," he writes.

It's hard not to agree with that assessment, and it applies to so many of those who fought bravely in Europe or the Pacific, as well as those who maintained the home front. All of them have their say in this attractive volume. --John J. Miller

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:19 -0400)

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Consists chiefly of primary source material in the form of personal narratives, letters, and period photographs.

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