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An Album of Memories: Personal Histories from the Greatest Generation
by Tom Brokaw
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:24 -0400)
Consists chiefly of primary source material in the form of personal narratives, letters, and period photographs.
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