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

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

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation wasn't just a runaway bestseller; it was also a major catalyst in our overdue recognition of Americans who persevered through the Great Depression and the Second World War. Boom! Voices of a Generation is an even more personal book, because Brokaw experienced the events of the sixties himself. For many readers, too, this subject remains intensely personal, perhaps because no recent decade has been more controversial and polarizing than the '60s; a time (to paraphrase Abbie Hoffman) when sacred cows made the tastiest hamburgers. Bringing it all back home with the explosiveness of that generation itself.
Janet Maslin
[Brokaw] approaches this magnum opus with warmth, curiosity and conviction, the same attributes that worked so well for his Greatest Generation. And he will succeed in prompting readers to step back and do some soul searching. Boom! is as interesting for the effects it can catalyze as for those it actually describes. This book would be an odd and sprawling compendium were it not for the unifying effect of Mr. Brokaw's companionable style. His writing makes up in intimacy what it lacks in fancy footwork, even if a quota of '60s cultural boilerplate is part of the package…On the page, as he is on the screen, Mr. Brokaw is a canny, perceptive interviewer with an honest interest in what other people have to say.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

There's less heroism in Brokaw's profiles of the baby boom cohort than there was in his salute to The Greatest Generation, but there's still plenty of drama. Almost everyone the author interviews (famous boomers like Arlo Guthrie, Hillary Clinton and Karl Rove along with many unsung contemporaries) describes a personal journey through the upheavals of the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, women's liberation, the counterculture, the rise of the New Left or the birth of the New Right. Callow students became radicalized, restless housewives forged careers, musicians spiraled into addiction, disgusted erstwhile liberals trekked rightward, everyone-except Dick Cheney, Brokaw mentions-questioned authority. Unlike Brokaw's celebratory and elegiac previous book, this one is steeped in retrospective ambivalence; conservatives look back on the era with disdain, and even unreconstructed lefties feel misgivings about its excesses. As an NBC correspondent, Brokaw was a keen (if careful nonparticipant) observer of the '60s and contributes his own neutral but engaging gloss on developments, along with personal recollections of everyone from Bobby Kennedy to Hunter S. Thompson. He may not always know what to make of it all, but Brokaw's profiles do convey the decade's diverse experiences, its roiling energies and its centrality in the making of modern America. Photos. (Nov. 6)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Publishers Weekly

Brokaw's The Greatest Generationexamined an era that brought America together, while Boom!considers some of the most divisive years in American history. Inviting listeners to a virtual reunion of characters from the 1960s (which he loosely defines as the years between 1963 and 1972), this compendium of interviews and anecdotes is loosely held together by Brokaw's own biographical time line and opinions. His warm, familiar voice is still filled with genuine curiosity, which listeners will find hard to resist. On audio, Brokaw's diction becomes a little rough around the edges, occasionally letting words run together. Brokaw, who has been a guest in our living rooms for as long as many people can remember, is still welcome to report on the world as he sees it. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 22). (Nov.)

Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Brokaw (The Greatest Generation), former anchor of NBC Nightly News, takes the listener on a fascinating journey through one of the most turbulent and misunderstood periods in American history. It is no understatement that this decade was a turning point in the story of America, an explosion whose ripples are still actively felt today. By using his status and celebrity, Brokaw weaves his way through this time by relying on the voices of those involved-the participants, who are able to consider their views at the time with the benefit of 40 years' hindsight. Their memories are gripping, whether of the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, or drugs and music, the walk on the moon, or the impact of feminism and popular culture. The tales are told with objectivity and professionalism, and Robertson Dean's performance is engaging and balanced. Recommended for all libraries.
—Scott R. DiMarco

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Reviews
Veteran newscaster Brokaw (A Long Way from Home: Growing Up in the American Heartland, 2002, etc.) turns in proof positive of the theory of relativity: Arlo Guthrie and Dick Cheney inhabited the 1960s at the same time. Guthrie and Officer Obie-aka William J. Obanheim, longtime Stockbridge, Mass., chief of police made famous in the folk singer's epic 1967 protest song, "Alice's Restaurant"-became friends in the end: Guthrie noted, "He was a wonderful, wonderful human being." It is doubtful that Arlo will warm up quite so well to Karl Rove, another child of the '60s who insists that his intervention in the matter of Terry Schiavo was advocacy for the disabled. Rove spent the time far from the rigors of Vietnam; so did Cheney, who spent the time drinking up a storm and concluded, his own radical freak flag flying, "Close elections don't mean you trim your sails in terms of your agenda." Brokaw is respectful-after all, you never burn a source-but twits Cheney for his preference for the retrograde '50s, when DUIs were cool and "homosexuality and race were easy targets for bigots." The author confesses that his own service in the '60s wasn't exactly idyllic, as he garnered fat paychecks as a newsman in Los Angeles while his brothers did time in uniform (he tried, but flat feet kept him out). He gives space to some of those who enjoyed similarly soft circumstances, such as Warren Beatty, who took a break from the '68 Democratic Convention by partying at the Playboy Mansion. Brokaw is more inclined to hang with more serious players, such as Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, who says of Vietnam, "That war . . . tore the heart out of our country." Capably painting the contours of the time and itsmany issues, Brokaw even admits a little fondness for Richard Nixon while getting close to what a well-placed source (whom he doesn't identify until 400 pages into the book) calls "the code"-the real message of the '60s. In an evenhanded and well-tempered book, stuffed with a sterling cast of interviewees adding their voices to his, Brokaw does a nice job of trying to crack the code.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739340752
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/6/2007
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged, 5 CDs, 6 hours
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 6.28 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw is the author of four bestsellers: The Greatest Generation, The Greatest Generation Speaks, An Album of Memories, and A Long Way from Home. From 1976 to 1981 he anchored Today on NBC. He was the sole anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw from 1983 to 2004.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      February 6, 1940
    2. Place of Birth:
      Webster, South Dakota
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of South Dakota

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

A Loss of Innocence

I felt everyone else wanted to be in our world. We were the last generation to be cooler than our kids.
—Tom McGuane

There’s a big “what if” over the Sixties. . . .Who knows what would have happened if King and Kennedy were alive?
—Tom Hayden

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. The country was in the midst of a cultural upheaval unlike anything experienced since the Roaring Twenties. Everyone wondered whether America could regain its balance.

Forty years later, another war, this one in the Middle East, was deeply dividing the United States. Republican and Democratic candidates for president were laying out starkly different scenarios for the country’s future. The place of America in the world was hotly debated. The popular culture was again an issue.

The eve of 2008 was not exactly the Sixties all over again, but we still have a lot to learn from that memorable, stimulating, dangerous, and maddening time in American life forty years ago.

I arrived in Los Angeles to join NBC News in 1966, and by then, Charles Dickens’s opening lines in A Tale of Two Cities had never seemed so prophetic. Were these the best or the worst of times? I wish I could say I felt the tremors of seismic change beginning and spreading out across the political and cultural landscape, but I was mostly trying to find my way. I was a twenty-six-year-old pilgrim from the prairie heartland, raised with the sensibilities of a Fifties working-class family. I was the father of a toddler with another child on the way.

I fit the prototype of the typical young white male of the time. I had been a crew-cut apostle of the Boy Scouts, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, attending Sunday school and church, drinking too much beer in college but never smoking dope; marijuana in the Fifties and early Sixties was the stuff of jazz musicians and hoodlums in faraway places.

Before I married the love of my life, my high school classmate Meredith, we had never spent a night together. In those days, parked cars and curfews were the defining limits of courtship.

We were married in 1962, when Meredith was twenty-one and I was twenty-two, in a traditional Episcopal church wedding with a reception at our hometown country club. We left the next day with all our worldly possessions, including the five table cigarette lighters we had received as wedding presents, in the backseat of the no-frills Chevrolet compact car her father had given us as a wedding present.

We were eager to see a wider world, but only one step at a time. California was still four years away. Our first stop was Omaha, Nebraska, which then was an unimaginative and conservative midsize city a half day’s drive down the Missouri River from our hometown. We could barely afford ninety dollars a month to rent a furnished apartment, but when we went looking, in the stifling heat of a Great Plains August, I was dressed in a jacket and tie, and Meredith was wearing part of her honeymoon trousseau, including a girdle and hose. Five years later, I rarely wore a tie except on television, and Meredith was freed not only of girdles but also of hose and brassieres on California weekends.

In 1962, I had an entry-level reporter’s job at an Omaha television station. I had bargained to get a salary of one hundred dollars a week, because I didn’t feel I could tell Meredith’s doctor father I was making less. Meredith, who had a superior college record, couldn’t find any work because, as one personnel director after another told her, “You’re a young bride. If we hire you, you’ll just get pregnant before long and want maternity leave.”

In retrospect, the political and cultural climate in the early Sixties seems both a time of innocence and also like a sultry, still summer day in the Midwest: an unsettling calm before a ferocious storm over Vietnam, which was not yet an American war. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was confronting racism in the South and getting a good deal of exposure on The Huntley-Brinkley Report on NBC and The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, the two primary network newscasts, each just fifteen minutes long.

In the fall of 1963, first CBS and then, shortly after, NBC expanded those signature news broadcasts to a half hour. As a sign of the importance of the expansion, Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley were granted lengthy exclusive interviews with President Kennedy. ABC wouldn’t be a player in the news major leagues until the 1970s, when Roone Arledge brought to ABC News the energy and programming approach he had applied to ABC Sports. Kennedy, America’s first truly telegenic president, was a master of the medium, fully appreciating its power to reach into the living rooms of America from sea to shining sea.

During our time in Omaha, John F. Kennedy was not a local favorite. The city’s deeply conservative culture remained immune to Kennedy’s charms and to his arguments for social changes, such as civil rights and the introduction of government-subsidized medical care for the elderly. I’m sure many of my conservative friends at the time thought I was a card short of being a member of the Communist Party because I regularly championed the need for enforced racial equality and Medicare.

One of the most popular speakers to come through Omaha in those days was a familiar figure from my childhood, when kids in small towns on the Great Plains spent Saturday afternoons in movie theaters watching westerns. Ronald Reagan looked just like he did on the big screen. He was kind of a local boy who had made good, starting out as a radio star next door in Iowa and moving on to Hollywood, before becoming a television fixture as host of General Electric Theater.

Reagan’s Omaha appearances were part of his arrangement with GE, which allowed him to be an old-fashioned circuit-riding preacher, warning against the evils of big government and communism, while praising the virtues of big business and the free market. He was every inch a star, impeccably dressed and groomed. But those of us who shared his Midwestern roots were a bit surprised to find that although he was completely cordial, he was not noticeably warm. That part of his personality remained an enigma even to his closest friends and advisers throughout his historically successful political career.

In Omaha the only time he lightened up in my presence was when I noticed he was wearing contact lenses and I asked him about them. He got genuinely excited as he described how they were a new soft model, not like the hard ones that could irritate the eyes. He even wrote down the name of his California optometrist so Meredith could order a pair for herself. (Later, when he became president, I often thought, “He’s not only a great politician, he’s a helluva contact lens salesman.”)

President Kennedy also passed through Omaha, but only for a brief stop at the Strategic Air Command headquarters there. In those days, SAC was an instantly recognized acronym because the bombers it comprised—some of which we could see because they were always in the air ready to respond in case of an attack—were a central component of America’s Cold War military strategy.

More memorable for me was a visit to SAC by the president’s brother Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. The younger Kennedy was a striking contrast to the president, who had been smiling and chatty with the local press and even more impressive in person than on television. Unlike the president, who was always meticulously and elegantly dressed, the attorney general was wearing a rumpled suit, and the collar on his blue button-down shirt was frayed. He was plainly impatient, and his mood did not improve when I asked for a reaction to Alabama governor George Wallace’s demand that JFK resign the presidency because of his stance on school desegregation. Bobby fixed those icy blue eyes on me and said, as if I were to blame for the governor’s statement, “I have no comment on anything Governor Wallace has to say.”

I was on duty in the newsroom a few weeks later when the United Press International wire-service machine began to sound its bulletin bells. I walked over casually and began to read a series of sentences breaking in staccato fashion down the page:

three shots were fired at president kennedy’s motorcade in downtown dallas . . . flash—kennedy seriously wounded, perhaps fatally by assassin’s bullet . . . president john f. kennedy died at approximately 1:00 pm (cst).

John F. Kennedy, the man I had thought would define the political ideal for the rest of my days, was suddenly gone in the senseless violence of a single moment. In ways we could not have known then, the gunshots in Dealey Plaza triggered a series of historic changes: the quagmire of Vietnam that led to the fall of Lyndon Johnson as president; the death of Robert Kennedy in pursuit of the presidency; and the comeback, presidency, and subsequent disgrace of Richard Nixon.

On that beautiful late autumn November morning, however, my immediate concern was to get this story on the air. I rushed the news onto our noon broadcast, and as I was running back to the newsroom, one of the station’s Kennedy haters said, “What’s up?”

I responded, “Kennedy’s been shot.”

He said, “It’s about time someone got the son of a bitch.”

Given the gauzy shades of popular memory, the invocations of Camelot and JFK as our nation’s prince, it may be surprising to younger Americans to know that President Kennedy was not universally beloved.

Now Kennedy was gone, and this man was glad. I lunged toward him, but another coworker pulled me away.

The rest of the day is mostly a blur except for one riveting memory. As I was speeding out toward SAC headquarters to see what restrictions they were putting on the base, I began to talk aloud to myself. “This doesn’t happen in America,” I said, still a child of the innocence of the Fifties. And then I distinctly remember thinking, “This will change us. I don’t know how, but this will change us.” And of course it did.

It was November 22, 1963, and it was, in effect, the beginning of what we now call the Sixties. Kennedy’s death was stunning not just because he was president. He was such a young president, and his election just three years before had kindled the dreams and aspirations of the young generation he embodied and inspired. His death seemed to rob us of all that was youthful and elegant, cool and smart, hopeful and idealistic. Who now would stir our generation by suggesting we ask “not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”?

No political pundit or opposition strategist could have anticipated how JFK’s death would be the beginning of the unraveling of the Democratic coalition that had been forged by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932 and had formed the party’s electoral base ever since. When Lyndon Johnson emerged from Air Force One as the new president after the flight back from Dallas and stood somberly in the glare of the television lights at Andrews Air Force Base, he was already a familiar figure to most Americans. It would be hard to imagine a greater contrast to JFK than LBJ, the large, ambitious Texan with the thick drawl and the great thirst for whiskey, women, and power. Now he seemed humbled and earnest as he looked into the cameras and said, “I ask for your help—and God’s.”

With LBJ we were back to business as usual with the old backroom pols, the men who wore hats and had spreading waistlines. To be sure, there was a lot about Kennedy we had not known then or had ignored— such as his chronic illnesses, his reckless ways with women, his Cold Warrior inclinations toward Vietnam, and his temporizing approach to the civil rights struggle.

In June 2007, when the Central Intelligence Agency opened many of its files to the public—those known as “the family jewels”—there were pages devoted to JFK’s enthusiastic authorization of a CIA surveillance campaign against a well-known New York Times military affairs reporter who had published stories involving classified material. When Richard Nixon became president and authorized a similar leak-plugging operation, it was seen as the first step toward Watergate.

But in the wake of President Kennedy’s violent death, America was in a state of shock, and the flaws or failings that were known to us only seemed to make him more human and his loss more deeply felt.

He became the prince of Camelot who left behind a widow whose beauty could not be compromised by grief, a woman not yet forty years old who would remain a part of our lives, in admiration and controversy, until she died in the closing days of the century. And their children, Caroline and John, Jr., now belonged to the nation as surely as the offspring of royalty.

Slowly, the rest of us went back to our ordinary lives, trying to absorb and understand the deep wounds we had sustained and the unimaginable loss we had suffered—and blissfully unaware of all the tragedy and tumult that lay not far ahead. My wife, Meredith, finally found a job teaching English at Central High School in Omaha. We rented a better apartment; this one even had access to a swimming pool, which seemed to us the height of luxury. We watched The Dick Van Dyke Show and Gunsmoke on our new black-and-white television. We bought our first set of furniture—sofa and matching chair, coffee table, dining room table and chairs, and two lamps—for four hundred dollars.

In the summer of 1964, we drove east to visit Washington, D.C., and New York City on vacation, a couple of Midwesterners curious about life over the horizon from the Great Plains. In Washington, as luck would have it, we were in the press gallery when the House passed the historic Civil Rights Act, outlawing discrimination in jobs and public accommodations. Reporters were shouting into telephones and banging away at typewriters. We saw Roger Mudd, the CBS news correspondent who had been tracking the legislation nightly on the CBS Evening News, and Bob Abernethy of NBC News on the phone filing a radio report. I felt like a kid from the sticks who somehow managed to wander into Yankee Stadium while the World Series was under way.

We were thrilled, but a friend who worked for the congressman from Omaha was not; his boss had voted against the act. Another conservative friend from the Midwest insisted, “You can’t legislate morality.”

Huh? “What about murder?” I asked. “It’s immoral to kill someone. If I’m not mistaken, we’ve passed laws to deal with that.”

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Table of Contents

Introduction: What Was That All About?     xiii
Something's Happening Here     1
A Loss of Innocence     3
He Had a Dream     39
Representative John Lewish and Julian Bond     47
Reverend Andrew Young     55
Tom Turnipseed     62
Reverend Thomas Gilmore     69
The Fracture of 1968: The Noisy Masses versus the Silent Majority     79
Jeff Greenfield and Sam Brown     84
Mayor Richard M. Daley and William Daley     103
Pat Buchanan     110
A Place Called Vietnam     127
We Had to Destroy the Village: Captain Gene Kimmel and Dr. Les Gelb     128
Married to Vietnam: Tom and Nellie Coakley     141
Oh, Canada: Jeffry House     155
Semper Fi: Senator James Webb, Mike "Mac" McGarvey, and James Fallows     163
A Woman's Place     189
Nora Ephron     197
Gloria Steinem     203
Joan Growe     208
Muriel Kraszewski     214
Dr. Judith Rodin     218
Carla Hills and Joan Didion     224
Lissa Muscatine     232
Something's Happening Here     241
Dr. David Smith     243
Judy Collins     249
Arlo Guthrie and Tim Russert     253
Jann Wenner     259
Kris Kristofferson     262
Berry Gordy     267
Woody Miller     275
Aftershocks: Consequences, Intended and Otherwise     283
A Dream Fulfilled and a Dream Deferred     287
Charlene Stimley Priester and Ouida Barnett Atkins     297
Stan Sanders     310
Dr Shelby Steele     319
Dr. Cleveland Sellers     329
The Reagan Revolution and the Democrats' Identity Crisis     339
President Bill Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich     341
Senator George McGovern and Senator Gary Hart     359
Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney     369
Pat Buchanan and Senator Hillary Clinton     393
Second Thoughts and the Long View     406
Sam Brown     406
Jeremy Larner     408
Carl Pope     409
Ed Crane     417
Dolores Huerta     421
The War Without End     429
David Cadwell     431
General Colin Powell     435
General Wayne Downing     440
Senator John McCain      447
Senator Bob Kerrey     452
Senator Chuck Hagel     460
Dr. Charles Desmond     465
Ron Armella     469
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and Peter Davis     474
I Am Woman     481
Jane Pauley     486
Anne Taylor Fleming     494
Linda Greenhouse     498
Dorothy Rabinowitz     502
Dr. Ruth Simmons     505
Dr. Susan Miller     510
Like a Rolling Stone     515
James Taylor     517
Paul Simon     523
Jann Wenner     530
Warren Beatty     532
Lawrence Kasdan     535
Lorne Michaels     541
Dick Gregory     548
Tommy Smothers     552
Leonard Riggio     554
Reflections: Seeing What Connects     563
The View from the Moon     565
Garry Trudeau     568
Other Voices     570
Joan Baez and Don McLean     579
Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins     586
Jack Weinberg     591
Stewart Brand     597
Captain Jim Lovell     605
Acknowledgments      613
Timeline     617
Permissions and Credits     623
Index     629
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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 16, 2010

    Just ok but not the best

    Jordan's Boomers How we changed the world is a much, much better read. It is in fact an exceptional "generational biography" that does not miss much. I understand volume II at 900 pages is ready to be published. Volume I covers 1946-1980. It covers a lot of things that are definitely NOT politically correct. A much better guide to my generation..

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2009


    What a great book!I was born in 1952, so many of the events I did not pay attention to while growing up. It brought back many memories. JFK's assassination brought back tears and where I was when his death was announced. This book is a must read for anyone growing up in the 60's!! This is one book I will read again!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2007

    'thanks for the memories'

    The book was truly a fascinating adventure 'back to the future'. The adventures of the sixties was brought to life and the significant impact that this decade has had and will continue to have for quite some time. It was hard to put the book down and I found myself closing my eyes to relive the experiences I encountered.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2008

    A Good Read

    One can read G's reveiw and understand that he does not like the Brokaw look at the subject. However, I would like to say that I thought the book was a fair look at the time period and that Brokaw really tried to bring a broad view to the table. In a lot of ways, the way the material was presented allowed one to reach some individual conclusions - not just take in all of Brokaw's ideas. Isn't that what he was trying to say anyway. I think G's comments celebrate the fact that America is a country where one can still debate even if G doesn't believe that the debate went far enough. I also see in G's review what went wrong in the 60s and what is still wrong - we cannot even speak with each other in a tone that is civil. Again, though, he is entitiled to his opinion. I really liked the part of Brokaw's book dealing with Civil Rights. I have traveled through the South and observed some of the legacies of the movement. My dad was drafted to go to Vietnam and Nixon called the draft off. But he was as good as gone before that. I was 2 and a half. I will always be a fan of the Greatest Generation book. I liked this one too. As a high school teacher, I will share some of these stories with my students.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A great recollection of life in America in the Swinging Sixties

    A great recollection of life in America in the Swinging Sixties!

    Boom is a great recollection of the Vietnam War,the death of President John F.Kennedy,and other events that shaped the Swinging Sixties in America.,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2010

    Just ok but not even close to the best

    History is the only field in which the more courses students take the dumber they become. History as it is taught in the U.S. is filled with half truths and lies. Not so, Jordan's "Boomers. How We Changed the World". NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT! Learn the truth about civil rights and what your grandmother really went through to vote: Loss of home, family, income, and sometimes death. Gay rights; where did it all start? Kennedy assassination: three gunmen and four shots. The shot that killed President John Kennedy came from in front of the limo. Vietnam: My Lai, self immolation, hundreds of thousands of people gathering and standing up to the U.S. government. How George Bush Senior helped to set up the world's largest money laundering bank: B.C.C.I. Assassinations and the hula-hoop. U.S. backed coups and the slinky. Is there any gold left in Fort Knox? Not politically correct but it is our history.
    Mid 1970's Saigon falls and the heroin epidemic subsides; coincidence?? The new source of raw opium will be Mexico as "Mexican mud", which replaces "china white". Guess where the major supplier of raw opium will come from next?
    I gave a copy of "Boomers. How We Changed the World" to each of my children and they were amazed what we lived through. After all Jordan's book begins BTV (before TV).
    Boomers. How We Changed the World really speaks out for my generation. Hell it shouts!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2008

    A reviewer

    I found the first half of the book to be relatively interesting. Then the book became like a text book. No way Brokaw wrote this book by himself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2008

    A pedestrian memoir

    This was a very disappointing book considering the source material and the authority of the author. The 'interviews' come across as agenda ridden and some of the more interesting generational players are given relatively short shrift. A better title would be 'Me! How Tom Brokaw was involved in every moment with every person that mattered during the 1960s.'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2007

    A reviewer

    '...there comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can't even passively take part and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop, And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, the people who own it, that unless you're free the machine will be prevented from working at all.' I'm fairly sure that Tom Brokaw didn't mean anyone any harm...the point, after all, is to sell books and keep the natives from getting restless again...but it's fascinating to see how the actual 'lessons' from the decade of the sixties have been turned inside-out and/or ignored 'the word 'free' comes to mind--free speech, free love, free concerts, free medical clinic, etc.' and have been replaced by a fanciful, nonsensical bunch of fake 'lessons' that can be pawned off as 'authoritative' because Tom Brokaw's old and everyone knows his name. What is this? The fifties? Come on, guys, this mishmash of pompous, wistful, wishful pontificating is silly, badly-written, revisionist balderdash. It's gonna sell books, yes, but it's no more an accurate reflection of the sixties than GONE WITH THE WIND was an accurate reflection of the Civil War. If anything, this book is the antithesis of what happened in the sixties. Tom Brokaw was born on Maggie's Farm he spent his whole life on Maggie's Farm and he's gonna die 'comfortably' on Maggie's Farm. Sure, he dressed up in 'bellbottom trousers' every now and again and mingled with the riffraff, but the only thing he was ever allowed to report or was ever capable of reporting was what the rest of the folks back on the farm wanted to hear...and now that he's retired he's doing the same thing all over again...and the same old people back on Maggie's same old farm are eating it up all over again. Ay, yi, yi. Everywhere there's lots of piggies Living piggy lives You can see them out for dinner With their piggy wives Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon. Tom Brokaw and I are the same age we both have a ninety-year-old mother, a cool family and lots of grandchildren we both grew up in the Midwest, had buddies who went to Vietnam, lived in San Francisco during the sixties and both wrote books that were personal reflections. I knew what questions to ask. He didn't. He made a lot of money telling people what he thinks they want to hear it cost me a lot of money to tell people the truth whether they wanna hear it or not. My book is free. His isn't. He spent forty years learning how to schmooze with the 'right' people I spent forty years learning how to write. When I ask myself who I would rather be, the answer is resoundingly me. G.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2015

    Garrett charecter app thinge

    Name: garrett kennet larson <p> age: 16 <p> looks: brown hair and eyes. <p> allergic to milk and eggs. <p> anything else ask

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2015

    Genis character app AND BIO PLEASE USE BRO

    Name:Genis<br>Looks:Black hair light brown skin golden eyes six feet tall sort of muscular but really strong.<br>Powers:He is like deadpool he can get a body part chopped off and put it back on and he can heal automaticcly and he has low pain tolerance which meen if a billion bullets or soething hits him he can barely feel it<br>Weapons: He has two giant one foot wide seven feet long swords they way tons to others but are like feathers to him.<br>Other:He is calm majority of the timehe wears north face jackets lebrons and snapbacks...thats it deuces

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2015


    "Genis just had to be special. If you wanna know about me for the character, look at Ethics res 2."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2015

    To 2 below

    The story will be at boom by mark haddon

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2015



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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2014

    People of the 60's

    Very interesting account of the different types of people who made the 6p's so interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2013

    To below


    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    To death twins

    Can i be in it i will post my bio at next part

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012

    Mark to below

    Already nakes and my is 50 in long eat it its hard core

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012


    Sure i do im jake and im gay

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Any guys who wanna f*ck

    I like sex...i have an open p u s s y hard b o o b s and a mouth ready for suckin

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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