The Worst Generation?

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Tom Brokaw, in Studio 3A.

Tom Brokaw, in Studio 3A. Source:Coburn Dukehart, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Source:Coburn Dukehart, NPR

For more than 20 years, Tom Brokaw anchored the NBC Nightly News, a broadcast that regularly bested its rivals. Viewers liked his warmth and courteousness. And that accent! Is that how everyone from South Dakota talks?! Brokaw, who was born in 1940, became a reporter in the 1960s, covering the Midwest and the South. When NBC News called, asking him to come to California, to report on Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Haight-Ashbury, Brokaw said "yes." The rest, as they say, is history. He went on to The White House, The Today Show, and the evening news.

In a new book, Boom! Voices of the Sixties, the former anchorman chronicles the cultural, social, and political sea changes that defined the 1960s. It is equal parts memoir and oral history, with commentary from Americans who came of age then. Pat Buchanan, Nora Ephron, Judy Collins, Jann Wenner, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, James Taylor, Warren Beatty, and dozens of others. You can read an excerpt from it here.

Tom Brokaw joins us, in the second hour, to talk about what was a turbulent, important decade. And a big one, too! (As all decades are, really). We'll focus on 1968, in particular. How did that year change you? And the country?



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

I'm wary of any candidate who advertises their belief in a god or a ghost or a spirit, and that they will be guided by those beliefs in doing their job as my representative in government. Candidates should keep their gods out of my government.

Sent by Nick de Sieyes | 2:54 PM | 11-19-2007

I was a Photographer and I was asked to shoot the Black Debutant Ball and I was the only white guy in a room of rich blacks. I then began to shoot over 100 black weddings, this changed me. As I learned my heritage included many black people from the times past. So much for Thomas Jefferson.

Sent by Charles L. Mims | 3:29 PM | 11-19-2007

As I look back it seems that alot of the anti-war attitude had to do with outr generations fear of dying. We live very easy lives compared with are WWII
parents who knew sacrifice. Easier to rebel and get out a war than to say what is really going on. How much of this do you feel really was behind the anti-war attitude.

Sent by Nancy Reed | 3:56 PM | 11-19-2007

Tom Brokaw is not a trained psychologist, nor is he a trained sociologist. Yet, he comments as if he is one on your show. I deeply resent his misrepresentation of the anti-war movement. I deeply respect the men who went to Canada rather than violate our country's constitutional ethos. Your interview of Brokaw seemed more like a press conference to sell a book to me. I believe the cowardice we've seen out of NPR shows that we need way more media reform. The "Fox News Effect" has clearly impacted interviewers and producers. I was also appalled at the misrepresentation of Naomi Klein. To let her be bashed as somehow anti-semitic for saying that corporatism (she didn't say fascism each time--although that is corporatism could be substituted for defining the state in which the corporations are a substitute for democratic governance or a real free market) was really dirty pool. To see a real interview with Klein, unfortunately, one needs to see how comedian Bill Maher handled her. And he at least challenged his guest. Type in Naomi Klein and Bill Maher and open up the raw story video for a more objective take on her, and a good example of how to handle a book selling subject. Grow a spine, NPR!

Sent by Dr. Lisa Barr | 6:05 AM | 11-20-2007