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Boom! Voices of the Sixties: Personal…

Boom! Voices of the Sixties: Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today

by Tom Brokaw

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Having listened to the abridged audio version of this work, I was somewhat disappointed. Tom Brokaw was too old to actually take part in what we call in the USA "the 60s", so we get the view of a newscaster who was removed from the action -- an observer, not a participant and one whose second-hand reports are limited by the individuals he had opportunity to interview.

Having compared the audio version to the book, my main complaint is that the former offers too narrow and too distorted a perspective. We get information resulting from his interviews with such ultraconservatives and rightwingers as Pat Buchanan, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, politician Jim Webb, and Newt Gingrich, as well as Gen. Colin Powell, but nothing from participants in the anti-war movement that so defined the 1960s and early 1970s. Likewise, we get nothing of an international flavor -- as if the USA is the only place anything of interest and relevance was happening. Nor do we hear from musicians (despite how much of the 1960s was reflected in and driven by popular music). We do get to hear of the changing roles of women, but chiefly from his media colleague Jane Pauley. And there's results of interviews with Gary Trudeau and Bill Cinton, and a nice perspective from astronaut Jim Lovell. There's no mention of the gay rights movement, and insufficient mention of the civil rights movement. Meanwhile, the autobiographical information with which Brokaw punctuates the work isn't really relevant; I'm sure that details of his life and marriage are of interest to him and his family, but it adds little to the work itself.

Overall, there are no great insights offered, and no valuable perspectives on what "the 60s" were and what is their legacy. It's easy to see why readers who have reviewed this work at Amazon see Boom! as Brokaw's attempt to follow up on his "Greatest Generation" works which made his reputation as a writer. From scanning the contents of the printed book itself (a 600 page behemoth), I see a wider range of individuals are sampled, so some of these perceived faults are specific to the abridged audio book. Nevertheless, my experience with the audio version hasn't made me eager to dive in to experience any more of the Brokaw perspective. ( )
2 vote danielx | Dec 7, 2017 |
My mom gave me this book. It's apparently a follow up book to a book Brokaw wrote about the generation who lived through the Great Depression and WWII. A book I haven't read.

The format of the book is some of Brokaw's personal recollections and reflections interspersed with excerpts from interviews with various personalities. I most enjoyed reading those interviews from people that I'd heard of. My favorites were probably from the entertainment industry and the one with Jim Lovell. My least favorites were probably those from the political backgrounders, most of whom I'd never heard of. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Oct 14, 2017 |
Boom! One minute it was Ike and the man in the grey flannel suit, and the next minute it was time to "turn on, tune in, drop out". While Americans were walking on the moon, Americans were dying in Vietnam. Nothing was beyond question, and there were far fewer answers than before.
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
A must-read for anyone who lived during the 1960's. Brokaw is a top level journalist who looks at the impact that this time had on American history and the effect on current events and opinions. ( )
  mldavis2 | Feb 5, 2015 |
I was born in 1951 so I'm a pretty early boomer. But most of my '60's experience is toward the end of the decade, say 1968 and later. I agree with Brokow that the '60's actually ended around 1974. The earlier '60's stuff, especially the civil rights movement kind of passed me by. Brokow interviews a wide range of people who participated in the events and have stayed active in one way or another. They offer their comments on the events themselves and their perspective 40 years later. And perspective is what is needed here. I also like that not all of the people he interviews are famous today or even famous then. One way or another, all of us have our story of the '60's and I think Brokow did a great job of gathering stories.

Does the book tell us ultimately what the '60s meant? Does it explain the continuing impact today? I don't think the book does a good job in this sense but I think we all have to make our own sense of those years and the book helps with that. ( )
  capewood | Dec 8, 2014 |
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To the memory of Robert F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Captain Gene Kimmell, USMC
And, as always, to Jean Brokaw, my mother, and to Meredith, the most important influences in my life, whatever the times
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In 1968, America was deeply divided by a war in Southeast Asia and it was preparing to vote in a presidential election in which the choices were starkly different.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812975111, Paperback)

In Boom!, Tom Brokaw, one of America’s premier journalists and the acclaimed author of The Greatest Generation, gives us an epic portrait of another defining era in America: the tumultuous Sixties. The voices and stories of both famous people and ordinary citizens come together in this “virtual reunion” as Brokaw takes us on a memorable journey through a remarkable time, exploring how individuals and the national mood were affected by a controversial era and showing how the aftershocks of the Sixties continue to resound in our lives today. In the reflections of a generation, Brokaw also discovers lessons that might guide us in the years ahead. Race, politics, war, feminism, popular culture, and music are all delved into here. Brokaw explores how members of this generation have gone on to bring activism and a Sixties mindset into individual entrepreneurship , as we hear stories of how this formative decade has shaped our perspectives on business, the environment, politics, family, and our national existence. Remarkable in its insights, wonderfully written and reported, this revealing book lets us join in these frank conversations about America then, now, and tomorrow.

Bonus DVD: Excerpt From 1968 with Tom Brokaw, A History Channel special

Praise for Boom!

“Tom Brokaw does an excellent job of capturing an exciting, controversial period in American history and Boom! is a worthy addition to his growing canon.”–New York Post

“[Tom Brokaw] approaches this magnum opus with warmth, curiosity and conviction, the same attributes that worked so well for his Greatest Generation.
–The New York Times

“[A] verbal scrapbook of the Sixties . . . [Boom! shows] that the era’s core issues–racism, women’s rights, a nation-dividing war–remain central today, and that the values boomers championed haven’t yet gone bust.”
People (four stars)

“Packed with memorable people, places, events . . . A ‘virtual reunion’ of 1960s folks telling what they did back then, where they’ve been since and how they assess that tumultuous decade.”
Chicago Tribune

“Genuinely fascinating recollections . . . plenty of memorable anecdotes.”
The Wall Street Journal

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:01 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Now, in Boom!, one of America's premier journalists gives us an epic portrait of another defining era in America as he brings to life the tumultuous Sixties, a fault line in American history. The voices and stories of both famous people and ordinary citizens come together as Brokaw takes us on a memorable journey through a remarkable time, exploring how individual lives and the national mindset were affected by a controversial era and showing how the aftershocks of the Sixties continue to resound in our lives today. In the reflections of a generation, Brokaw also discovers lessons that might guide us in the years ahead."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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