Written By: Tom Brokaw

Narrated By: Tom Brokaw

Date: July 2000

Duration: 3 hours 43 minutes


The instant classic that changed the way we saw World War II and an entire generation of Americans, from the beloved journalist whose own iconic career has lasted more than fifty years.

In this magnificent testament to a nation and her people, Tom Brokaw brings to life the extraordinary stories of a generation that gave new meaning to courage, sacrifice, and honor.

From military heroes to community leaders to ordinary citizens, he profiles men and women who served their country with valor, then came home and transformed it: Senator Daniel Inouye, decorated at the front, fighting prejudice at home; Martha Settle Putney, one of the first black women to serve in the newly formed WACs; Charles Van Gorder, a doctor who set up a MASH-like medical facility in the middle of battle, then opened a small clinic in his hometown; Navy pilot and future president George H. W. Bush, assigned to read the mail of the enlisted men under him, who says that in doing so he “learned about life”; and many other laudable Americans.

To this generation that gave so much and asked so little, Brokaw offers eloquent tribute in true stories of everyday heroes in extraordinary times.

Praise for The Greatest Generation

“Moving . . . a tribute to the members of the World War II generation to whom we Americans and the world owe so much.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Full of wonderful, wrenching tales of a generation of heroes. Tom Brokaw reminds us what we are capable of as a people. An inspiring read for those who wish their spirits lifted.”—Colin L. Powell
“Offers welcome inspiration . . . It is impossible to read even a few of these accounts and not be touched by the book’s overarching message: We who followed this generation have lived in the midst of greatness.”—The Washington Times
“Entirely compelling.”—The Wall Street Journal


  • 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.

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by Tom Brokaw

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