Author bio

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw - book author

Thomas John Brokaw is an American television journalist and author, previously working on regularly scheduled news documentaries for the NBC television network, and is the former NBC News anchorman and managing editor of the program NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. His last broadcast as anchorman was on December 1, 2004, succeeded by Brian Williams in a carefully planned transition. In the later part of Tom Brokaw's tenure, NBC Nightly News became the most watched cable or broadcast news program in the United States. Brokaw also hosted, wrote, and moderated special programs on a wide range of topics. Throughout his career, he has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

Brokaw serves on the Howard University School of Communications Board of Visitors and on the boards of trustees of the University of South Dakota, the Norton Simon Museum, the American Museum of Natural History and the International Rescue Committee. As well as his television journalism, he has written for periodicals and has authored books. He still works at NBC as a Special Correspondent.

Tom Brokaw is the author of books: The Greatest Generation, A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope, Boom! Voices of the Sixties Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today, The Greatest Generation Speaks: Letters and Reflections, The Time of Our Lives: A conversation about America; Who we are, where we've been, and where we need to go now, to recapture the American dream, A Long Way from Home, The Fall of Richard Nixon: A Reporter Remembers Watergate, An Album of Memories: Personal Histories from the Greatest Generation, Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber, Their Own Words: The Greatest Generation Collection (The Greatest Generation, The Greatest Generation Speaks, and 6 Audio Cassettes)


Author books

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Description
01
"In the spring of 1984, I went to the northwest of France, to Normandy, to prepare an NBC documentary on the fortieth anniversary of D-Day, the massive and daring Allied invasion of Europe that marked the beginning of the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. There, I underwent a life-changing experience. As I walked the beaches with the American veterans who had returned for this anniversary, men in their sixties and seventies, and listened to their stories, I was deeply moved and profoundly grateful for all they had done. Ten years later, I returned to Normandy for the fiftieth anniversary of the invasion, and by then I had come to understand what this generation of Americans meant to history. It is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced."
        
In this superb book, Tom Brokaw goes out into America, to tell through the stories of individual men and women the story of a generation, America's citizen heroes and heroines who came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War and went on to build modern America. This generation was united not only by a common purpose, but also by common values--duty, honor, economy, courage, service, love of family and country, and, above all, responsibility for oneself. In this book, you will meet people whose everyday lives reveal how a generation persevered through war, and were trained by it, and then went on to create interesting and useful lives and the America we have today.

"At a time in their lives when their days and nights should have been filled with innocent adventure, love, and the lessons of the workaday world, they were fighting in the most primitive conditions possible across the bloodied landscape of France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and the coral islands of the Pacific. They answered the call to save the world from the two most powerful and ruthless military machines ever assembled, instruments of conquest in the hands of fascist maniacs. They faced great odds and a late start, but they did not protest. They succeeded on every front. They won the war; they saved the world. They came home to joyous and short-lived celebrations and immediately began the task of rebuilding their lives and the world they wanted. They married in record numbers and gave birth to another distinctive generation, the Baby Boomers. A grateful nation made it possible for more of them to attend college than any society had ever educated, anywhere. They gave the world new science, literature, art, industry, and economic strength unparalleled in the long curve of history. As they now reach the twilight of their adventurous and productive lives, they remain, for the most part, exceptionally modest. They have so many stories to tell, stories that in many cases they have never told before, because in a deep sense they didn't think that what they were doing was that special, because everyone else was doing it too.

"This book, I hope, will in some small way pay tribute to those men and women who have given us the lives we have today--an American family portrait album of the greatest generation."
                
In this book you'll meet people like Charles Van Gorder, who set up during D-Day a MASH-like medical facility in the middle of the fighting, and then came home to create a clinic and hospital in his hometown. You'll hear George Bush talk about how, as a Navy Air Corps combat pilot, one of his assignments was to read the mail of the enlisted men under him, to be sure no sensitive military information would be compromised. And so, Bush says, "I learned about life." You'll meet Trudy Elion, winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine, one of the many women in this book who found fulfilling careers in the changed society as a result of the war. You'll meet Martha Putney, one of the first black women to serve in the newly formed WACs. And you'll meet the members of the Romeo Club (Retired Old Men Eating Out), friends for life.
        
Through these and other stories in The Greatest Generation, you'll relive with ordinary men and women, military heroes, famous people of great achievement, and community leaders how these extraordinary times forged the values and provided the training that made a people and a nation great.


From the Hardcover edition.
02
From Tom Brokaw, the bestselling author of The Greatest Generation, comes a powerful memoir of a year of dramatic change—a year spent battling cancer and reflecting on a long, happy, and lucky life.

Tom Brokaw has led a fortunate life, with a strong marriage and family, many friends, and a brilliant journalism career culminating in his twenty-two years as anchor of the NBC Nightly News and as bestselling author. But in the summer of 2013, when back pain led him to the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, his run of good luck was interrupted. He received shocking news: He had multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. Friends had always referred to Brokaw’s “lucky star,” but as he writes in this inspiring memoir, “Turns out that star has a dimmer switch.”

Brokaw takes us through all the seasons and stages of this surprising year, the emotions, discoveries, setbacks, and struggles—times of denial, acceptance, turning points, and courage. After his diagnosis, Brokaw began to keep a journal, approaching this new stage of his life in a familiar role: as a journalist, determined to learn as much as he could about his condition, to report the story, and help others facing similar battles. That journal became the basis of this wonderfully written memoir, the story of a man coming to terms with his own mortality, contemplating what means the most to him now, and reflecting on what has meant the most to him throughout his life.

Brokaw also pauses to look back on some of the important moments in his career: memories of Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the morning of September 11, 2001, in New York City, and more. Through it all, Brokaw writes in the warm, intimate, natural voice of one of America’s most beloved journalists, giving us Brokaw on Brokaw, and bringing us with him as he navigates pain, procedures, drug regimens, and physical rehabilitation. Brokaw also writes about the importance of patients taking an active role in their own treatment, and of the vital role of caretakers and coordinated care.

Generous, informative, and deeply human, A Lucky Life Interrupted offers a message of understanding and empowerment, resolve and reality, hope for the future and gratitude for a well-lived life.
03
In The Greatest Generation, his landmark bestseller, Tom Brokaw eloquently evoked for America what it meant to come of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War. 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.

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.

Published as the fortieth anniversary of 1968 approaches, Boom! gives us what Brokaw sees as a virtual reunion of some members of “the class of ’68,” offering wise and moving reflections and frank personal remembrances about people’s lives during a time of high ideals and profound social, political, and individual change. What were the gains, what were the losses? Who were the winners, who were the losers? As they look back decades later, what do members of the Sixties generation think really mattered in that tumultuous time, and what will have meaning going forward?

Race, war, politics, feminism, popular culture, and music are all explored here, and we learn from a wide range of people about their lives. Tom Brokaw explores how members of this generation have gone on to bring activism and a Sixties mindset into individual entrepreneurship today. We hear stories of how this formative decade has led to a recalibrated perspective–on business, the environment, politics, family, our national existence.

Remarkable in its insights, profoundly moving, wonderfully written and reported, this revealing portrait of a generation and of an era, and of the impact of the 1960s on our lives today, lets us be present at this reunion ourselves, and join in these frank conversations about America then, now, and tomorrow.
04
The heartwarming New York Times bestseller by the author of The Greatest Generation

"When I wrote about the men and women who came out of the Depression, who won great victories and made lasting sacrifices in World War II and then returned home to begin building the world we have today ... it was my way of saying thank you. I was not prepared for the avalanche of letters and responses touched off by that book.

"I had written a book about America, and now America was writing back."

Tom Brokaw touched the heart of the nation with his towering #1 bestseller The Greatest Generation, a moving tribute to those who gave the world so much -- and who left an enduring legacy of heroism and grace. The Greatest Generation Speaks was born out of the vast outpouring of letters Brokaw received from people eager to share their personal memories and experiences of a momentous time in America's history.

These letters and reflections cross time, distance, and generations as they give voice to lives forever changed by war: eighty-year-old Clarence M. Graham, who recounts his harrowing experience as a soldier captured by the Japanese -- and provides a gripping eyewitness account of the dropping of the atomic bomb; Patricia Matthews Dorph, a soldier's daughter who shares the love letters her parents exchanged during the war, a lasting legacy of passion, devotion, and enduring love; Rabbi Judah Nadich, the first Jewish chaplain to serve in the war; Lorraine Davis, a civilian who helped form the Club of '44, a group of wartime wives who still meet today.

From the front lines of battle to the back porches of beloved hometowns, The Greatest Generation Speaks brings to life the hopes and dreams of a generation who fought our most hard-won victories, and whose struggles and sacrifices made our future possible.
05
Tom Brokaw, known and beloved for his landmark work in American journalism and for the New York Times bestsellers The Greatest Generation and Boom!, now turns his attention to the challenges that face America in the new millennium, to offer reflections on how we can restore America’s greatness.
 
“What happened to the America I thought I knew?” Brokaw writes. “Have we simply wandered off course, but only temporarily? Or have we allowed ourselves to be so divided that we’re easy prey for hijackers who could steer us onto a path to a crash landing? . . . I do have some thoughts, original and inspired by others, for our journey into the heart of a new century.”
 
Rooted in the values, lessons, and verities of generations past and of his South Dakota upbringing, Brokaw weaves together inspiring stories of Americans who are making a difference and personal stories from his own family history, to engage us in a conversation about our country and to offer ideas for how we can revitalize the promise of the American Dream.
 
Inviting us to foster a rebirth of family, community, and civic engagement as profound as the one that won World War II, built our postwar prosperity, and ushered in the Civil Rights era, Brokaw traces the exciting, unnerving changes in modern life—in values, education, public service, housing, the Internet, and more—that have transformed our society in the decades since the age of thrift in which he was raised. Offering ideas from Americans who are change agents in their communities, in The Time of Our Lives, Brokaw gives us, a wise, honest, and wide-ranging book, a nourishing vision of hopefulness in an age of diminished expectations.


From the Hardcover edition.
06
Reflections on America and the American experience as he has lived and observed it by the bestselling author of The Greatest Generation, whose iconic career in journalism has spanned more than fifty years

From his parents’ life in the Thirties, on to his boyhood along the Missouri River and on the prairies of South Dakota in the Forties, into his early journalism career in the Fifties and the tumultuous Sixties, up to the present, this personal story is a reflection on America in our time. Tom Brokaw writes about growing up and coming of age in the heartland, and of the family, the people, the culture and the values that shaped him then and still do today.

His father, Red Brokaw, a genius with machines, followed the instincts of Tom’s mother Jean, and took the risk of moving his small family from an Army base to Pickstown, South Dakota, where Red got a job as a heavy equipment operator in the Army Corps of Engineers’ project building the Ft. Randall dam along the Missouri River. Tom Brokaw describes how this move became the pivotal decision in their lives, as the Brokaw family, along with others after World War II, began to live out the American Dream: community, relative prosperity, middle class pleasures and good educations for their children.

Along the river and in the surrounding hills, I had a Tom Sawyer boyhood, Brokaw writes; and as he describes his own pilgrimage as it unfolded—from childhood to love, marriage, the early days in broadcast journalism, and beyond—he also reflects on what brought him and so many Americans of his generation to lead lives a long way from home, yet forever affected by it.
07
The last year of the Nixon presidency was filled with power politics, legal jiu-jitsu and high-stakes showdowns, with head-shaking surprises every day. Tom Brokaw, the NBC News White House correspondent during the final year of Watergate, gives us a close-up, personal account of the players, the strategies, and the highs and lows of the scandal that brought down a president. Brokaw writes, “Even now, almost half a century later, I am astonished by what the country went through, and I wanted to share press stories from the inside looking out—what it was like to be on call 24/7, the twists and turns, the laughs and tensions during this historic time.”
08
"I cannot go anywhere in America without people wanting to share their wartime experiences....The stories and the lessons have emerged from long-forgotten letters home, from reunions of old buddies and outfits, from unpublished diaries and home-published memoirs....As the stories in this album of memories remind us, it truly was an American experience, from the centers of power to the most humble corners of the land."
--Tom Brokaw

In this beautiful American family album of stories from the Greatest Generation, the history of life as it was lived during the Depression and World War II comes alive and is preserved in people's own words. Photographs and time lines also commemorate important dates and events. An Army Air Corps veteran who enlisted in 1941 at age seventeen writes to describe the Bataan Death March. A black nurse tells of her encounter with wartime segregation. Other members of the Greatest Generation describe their war--in such historic episodes as Guadalcanal, the D-Day invasion, the Battle of the Bulge, and Midway--as well as their lives on the home front. Starting with the Depression and Pearl Harbor, moving on through the war years in Europe, in the Pacific, and at home, this unique book preserves a people's rich historical heritage and the legacy of a nation's heroism in war and its courage in peace--in the shaping of their lives and of the world we have today.
09
"From little things come big things," Gail Halvorsen remembered his father saying. As a twenty-seven-year-old American pilot, Brother Halvorsen's job was to airdrop much-needed food and supplies to the people of West Berlin in the aftermath of World War II. But it was his simple gift of two sticks of gum that launched an extraordinary humanitarian endeavor and earned him the nickname "The Candy Bomber." Each day as hundreds of small white parachutes delivered treats to the children of West Germany, the wounds of war began to heal. "Operation Little Vittles" captured the imagination of people everywhere, bringing the spirit of Christmas to a world in need of peace and hope.

Famed broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw brings this remarkable true story to life in a stunning live performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, captured on the accompanying DVD. Also included in the book is a template and directions for creating your own "Candy Bomber" parachutes.