With its stories of courage, sadness, longing, romance, suspense, tragedy, and heroes, The Greatest Generation has all the elements of a Hollywood blockbuster. Except they’re all true! First hand accounts edited and organized with Tom Brokaw’s expert hand.
Given the self-serving, extremely partisan, financially reckless climate currently sweeping our country, everyone would be well-served to read The Greatest Generation, and be reminded of what the United States represented to the world at one time in our history by understanding the ultimate sacrifices the World War II generation made in the name of country and freedom. In the 1970s, nearly three-fourths of Congress was comprised of veterans. Now, veterans make up less than twenty percent of Congress, which may well explain Congress’ willingness to provide huge budgets to the Pentagon for expansion of our military machine while spending fractions of that budget on care for the veterans spit out by that expansion. The subjects of Brokaw’s accounts would be ashamed of the current state of affairs.
At the time of WWII, these men and women, mostly teenagers and young twenty-somethings, gave up everything to join the fight against Nazism, Imperialism, and Fascism. Many didn’t even know what these ideologies meant. While reading their stories in The Greatest Generation, I was struck by their humility, their matter-of-fact heroism, their stoic natures, their almost unanimous unwillingness to consider their actions anything other than their civic duty.
I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a millennial who did not have the opportunity to know a WWII veteran. You’ll be glad you cracked the spine!