I recently finished reading a book that was given to me by my aunt and uncle for graduation. Actually, two books were given, one historical novel by Bill O’Reilly about the assassination of President Lincoln, and the other by Tom Brokaw, who is, in my opinion, one of the finest journalists in the last few decades. One book each for my two passions, my fields of choice: journalism and history.
The book by Brokaw is called “The Greatest Generation“. It is over 400 pages about people from World War II, summed up in a few pages for each person. It’s basically like reading a profile piece on each person.
In this book, Brokaw recounts both the stories of men and women during the war, their efforts and trials. It tells the story of people who came of age during the Depression and World War II. It tells the stories of the brave men in the war, the women back home, and what Brokaw refers to as the “shame”, the stories of the minorities during this time. He breaks the book up into different sections, each one focusing on a certain group and their battles in life.
I found it to be superbly written, and the pictures that accompany each story really gives you a feel for the time. It showcases the heroes on the front lines, the women who helped forever change the way things were back home, and the real steps to equality in our nation.
It really made me think about this time period. These men and women I read about started their lives as adults in a time not so different from my own, a time of economic downfall and war. Both can be seen in the last decade quite vividly, so it wasn’t too hard to draw comparisons from their lives to my own.
Brokaw refers to this generation as the “greatest generation”, one that grew up in hard times, and then answered the call when the world needed them. It furthered my respect and admiration for those men and women, and I truly hope my generation can say we answered the call when it came. My generation is, by most standards, of age now, and I think it is about time to make the best of our shot, just as they did.
While reading this book, it reaffirmed to me that this was something I wanted to do with my life. Not just journalism, but to branch out, to write. Writing is an art, one that takes years of time to develop, but can have such a strong effect on us. I am a writer. It’s what I do, it’s how I think, how I express myself, and it’s high time I put my best foot forward. I will be a writer, in some shape or form, be it in articles, posts, or books.
Thanks again to Aunt Fran and Uncle Lenny. You know me too well.
I recommend you give this book a read, if not buy it!