Thursday, December 13, 2007

Boom, by Tom Brokaw

This audiobook was obtained for free from Overdrive Audio through the Alachua County Public Library. It was narrated by Robertson Dean and was 18 hours and 16 minutes long.

I was quite taken with Tom Brokaw's last best seller, "The Greatest Generation". This book is about the baby boomer generation and it's journey through the 60s. Of course, the 60s is defined not by the numerical dates, but by the events that were a part of the 60s narrative. So, it begins with the assassination of JFK and ends with the resignation of Richard Nixon. It is also about people who were pretty much adults at the time. I was only 9 years old during the 1968 Summer of Love, so my own memories of that tumultuous year are undiluted by hormones or hallucinogens. Memories like mine are not represented here.

This is very much a reporter's collection of interviews, which means his subjects do most of the editorializing. And although Tom Brokaw weighs in with his opinions, you also get the recollections and reconsiderations of Gloria Steinem, Arlo Guthrie, Hillary Clinton, Karl Rove, James Taylor, Pat Buchanan, Carla Hills, Tom Hayden, and a lot of people you may have never heard of, but who played a role in the Viet Nam War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Movement, or did a lot of dope.

Whether you miss the 60s or wish they had never happened, there is something here for you. Some of its most famous participants have their criticisms and regrets on both sides of every question. So there really are no definitive answers here, which is appropriate for a book about the generation that made moral relativism and ambivalence our national mood.

It's 4 star entertainment.

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