NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WITH A NEW PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR • A powerful memoir of a dramatic year spent battling cancer and reflecting on a long, happy, and lucky life—from the bestselling author of The Greatest Generation, whose iconic career in journalism has spanned more than fifty yearsTom 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.Praise for A Lucky Life Interrupted “It’s impossible not to be inspired by Brokaw’s story, and his willingness to share it.”—Los Angeles Times“A powerful memoir of battling cancer and facing mortality . . . Through the prism of his own illness, Brokaw looks at the larger picture of aging in America.”—Booklist (starred review) “Moving, informative and deeply personal.”—The Daily Beast“The former NBC News anchor has applied the fact-finding skills and straightforward candor that were his stock in trade during his reporting days to A Lucky Life Interrupted.”—USA Today“Brokaw doesn’t paste a smiley face on his story. Again and again, the book returns to stories of loss but also of grace, luck and the beauty of having another swing at bat.”—The Washington Post “Engaging . . . [with] the kind of insight that is typical of Mr. Brokaw’s approach to life and now to illness.”—The Wall Street Journal “Powerful and courageous . . . [Brokaw] looks ahead to the future with hope.”—Bookreporter
The instant classic and runaway bestseller 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
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “I find myself thinking deeply about what it means to love America, as I surely do.” —Dan Rather At a moment of crisis over our national identity, venerated journalist Dan Rather has emerged as a voice of reason and integrity, reflecting on—and writing passionately about—what it means to be an American. Now, with this collection of original essays, he reminds us of the principles upon which the United States was founded. Looking at the freedoms that define us, from the vote to the press; the values that have transformed us, from empathy to inclusion to service; the institutions that sustain us, such as public education; and the traits that helped form our young country, such as the audacity to take on daunting challenges in science and medicine, Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world’s biggest stories. As a living witness to historical change, he offers up an intimate view of history, tracing where we have been in order to help us chart a way forward and heal our bitter divisions. With a fundamental sense of hope, What Unites Us is the book to inspire conversation and listening, and to remind us all how we are, finally, one.
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 Now with a new Foreword by the author “The best presentation of the challenges facing the country—and the possible solutions—I've ever seen.”—P. J. O’Rourke 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. 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 share 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 helped win 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. In offering ideas from Americans who are change agents in their communities, Brokaw gives us a nourishing vision of hopefulness in an age of diminished expectations. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER“Inspiring tales of how people from different walks of life have found ways to be of service to their communities and country.”—Walter Isaacson
A Long Way from Home: Growing Up in the American Heartland in the Forties and Fifties
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 yearsFrom 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. Praise for A Long Way from Home“[A] love letter to the . . . people and places that enriched a ‘Tom Sawyer boyhood.’ Brokaw . . . has a knack for delivering quirky observations on small-town life. . . . Bottom line: Tom’s terrific.”—People “Breezy and straightforward . . . much like the assertive TV newsman himself.”—Los Angeles Times “Brokaw writes with disarming honesty.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution “Brokaw evokes a sense of community, a pride of citizenship, and a confidence in American ideals that will impress his readers.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
The instant classic and runaway bestseller 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
The Greatest Generation Speaks: Letters and Reflections
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.
Boom!: Talking About the Sixties: What Happened, How It Shaped Today, Lessons for Tomorrow
In Boom!, Tom Brokaw, one of America’s premier journalists and the acclaimed author of The Greatest Generation, gives us an epic portrait of another defining era in America: the tumultuous Sixties. The voices and stories of both famous people and ordinary citizens come together in this “virtual reunion” as Brokaw takes us on a memorable journey through a remarkable time, exploring how individuals and the national mood 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. Race, politics, war, feminism, popular culture, and music are all delved into here. Brokaw explores how members of this generation have gone on to bring activism and a Sixties mindset into individual entrepreneurship , as we hear stories of how this formative decade has shaped our perspectives on business, the environment, politics, family, and our national existence. Remarkable in its insights, wonderfully written and reported, this revealing book lets us join in these frank conversations about America then, now, and tomorrow. Praise for Boom!“Tom Brokaw does an excellent job of capturing an exciting, controversial period in American history and Boom! is a worthy addition to his growing canon.”–New York Post“[Tom Brokaw] approaches this magnum opus with warmth, curiosity and conviction, the same attributes that worked so well for his Greatest Generation.”–The New York Times“[A] verbal scrapbook of the Sixties . . . [Boom! shows] that the era’s core issues–racism, women’s rights, a nation-dividing war–remain central today, and that the values boomers championed haven’t yet gone bust.”–People (four stars)“Packed with memorable people, places, events . . . A ‘virtual reunion’ of 1960s folks telling what they did back then, where they’ve been since and how they assess that tumultuous decade.”–Chicago Tribune“Genuinely fascinating recollections . . . plenty of memorable anecdotes.”–The Wall Street Journal
An Album of Memories: Personal Histories from the Greatest Generation
“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 BrokawIn 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.
Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber
Christmas from Heaven is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn land, the story of Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which US forces flew much-needed supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin. As he performed his duties, Lt. Halvorsen began to notice the German children gathered by the fences of Tempelhof Air Base. Knowing that they had very little, he one day offered them some chewing gum. From that small act, an idea sprang: He would bomb Berlin with candy. Fashioning small parachutes, he and his crew sent them floating down as they approached the Berlin airport, wiggling the wings of their C-54 as a signal to the children that their anticipated cargo would soon arrive. Lt. Halvorsen became known by hundreds, if not thousands, of children in Berlin as Uncle Wiggly Wings or The Candy Bomber. Word soon spread, and donations of candy and other supplies poured in from sympathetic Americans. Lt. Halvorsen's small idea became a great symbol of hope not only to German children in a bombed-out city but to all those who yearned for freedom. 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.
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