Give as a Gift

Send this book as a Gift!

Book Rating (51)

Narrator Rating (2)

The Greatest Generation

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Tom Brokaw

Narrated By: Tom Brokaw

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: July 2000

Duration: 3 hours 44 minutes


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.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.


  • Debbie S

    Interesting but not the WOW I was expecting. My parents are from this generation so it offered insight to their thinking. My Dad was a Marine Raider so I was particularly appreciative of all the Marine stories.

  • paul

    This is truly a different gnreration, A different time and place. a complete different mind set, when the mother never work, watched after the kids. and family values really meant something.

  • Rose Szablewski

    I love history items . . .and this book was full of historical facts. For that reason, I found it interesting. A little slow moving at times . . .but just the same, a good read.

  • Ed Carter

    Good book overall. Abridged version leaves out too many stories. I think that each person mentioned should have had a bit more detail. I wanted to know more about the people who were discussed.

  • Anonymous

    Brought home the values of my own father and family . It made me understand the period in which he was brought up.

  • Mandi Chestler

    I was looking so forward to listening to this CD, and usually love WWII stuff, but honestly this was a bit of a let down. It didn't move me the way I expected it to. Perhaps the "abridged version" just doesn't do it justice, or maybe this is one of those books that should be read and not heard.

  • Judy Quate

    I loved this book. Both my father and father-in-law, who were veterans of World War II, are now deceased and this book with its wonderful stories of love and bravery, touched my heart more than you can imagine. Many thanks to Tom Brokaw for bringing these stories to life.

  • DAS

    Well,...... well......, it wasn't bad. Read it when you want stories about how Americans can be unselfish, heroic, and willing to sacrifice his/her well-being (or life) for the good of the country. Nice, warm, fire-side chats about ordinary American heroes. One annoying thing: Brokaw (he narrates his own book) needs to learn to write without using the word "I". The book was about OTHERS, not him. His attempts to give his writing of some of the stories a "setting" were unnecessary. Oh, one other thing - if you happened to have listened to "Don't Know Much About History", Brokaw's "Greatest Generation" will serve as an antidote to "..History's" negative view of the American White Man.

  • I'm Listening in Houston

    This book really blew me away. The true stories are inspirational and tangible. Some are about famous people, but most are about regular men and women who became focused and determined to make life better for everyone as a reaction to their war experiences. I had many "wow" moments and a few that brought tears to my eyes. I have new respect and appreciation for my elders. Thank you, Tom Brokaw.

  • Chuck LeFebvre

    This book starts out sappy and doesn't get much better. I found myself laughing at it. Brokaw does not seek to educate his reader, and he clearly did not spend much time studying history before writing the book or chosing the title (see my review of "John Adams," by David McCullough, for more on this). Brokaw's writing makes it across the threshold of grammatical correctness, but does not give the reader any real flourishes of literary skill. In the places where Brokaw attempts to wax poetic, the result is so cramped and obvious, I found myself embarrassed for him. I give this two stars instead of one only so that I could keep something in reserve for Hillary Clinton.