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The Greatest Generation Speaks: Letters and Reflections
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The Greatest Generation Speaks: Letters and Reflections

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,424 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
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 an
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Random House Trade (first published 1998)
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Larry Bassett
This is an excellent book to listen to in the audible format since there are many voices that are done quite well and some apparently the actual people.

On the negative side this book is almost totally about World War II. This book is a follow up to The Greatest Generation. I was not paying close enough attention since I thought this was that book. But I do not think I will be following up by reading that book.

I am not fond of books that glorify war. I am not fond of books that act as if wars are
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
Excellent read, filled with letters from those who lived and fought during the Depression and WW2 time. Divided into sections for easier reading.
I appreciated the author taking the time to compose all of this into a book so we could experience (in a way) the lives of our grandparents, to know the sacrifices they made, maybe things they didn't or couldn't talk about to us in person.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had me crying multiple times.
Edwin Martin
A subject I have already read a lot about since I've been a US history buff since my teen years.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This choked me up so many times, had to hold back tears often, loved it.
Doreen Richards
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Touching. Illuminating. A reminder of the experiences that our parents lived through and how different it is from our own.
Victor Vilchiz
not as deep as the actual book... some of the stories are heart wrenching...
Donna Hines
First I want to thank all our Veterans and thank you to Tom for bringing this book to light. It's because of their sacrifices and putting their lives on the line that we today are able to enjoy our freedoms.
The Greatest Generation is a book that everyone should read especially if you want to know the truth about the experiences, challenges, sacrifices, and dedication to one's country and one's loved ones.
The reflections, the letters, the pictures, the mental images their personal stories revea
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a followup to The Greatest Generation and seems to have been directed to the children of the Greatest Generation. Lots of their voices comprise It; it's about their parents. There are even one or two about grandparents; those were as told to them by their parents. It made me feel very fortunate to have been born to two parents who were engaged in the war. I wish I had known more younger. Some of my questions to my Dad (okay, my youngest ones) included "How many Japs did you kill, Dad?". ...more
What a great follow up to The Greatest Generation. This book contains many letters in response to the first book. I normally don't feel anything when reading another's letters but some of these ones tugged at the heartstrings. Like the lady that, after 50 years, learned that her husband being on the verge of death was thinking of her before his own life and safety when he died. The Greatest Generation book is the definition of a Tender Mercy from the Lord. It allowed those who read it to either ...more
Sep 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"This book is in response to Tom Brokaw's first book- The Greatest Generation.
It's basically a compliation of letters, stories, and reflections of lives forever changed by war.
Eighty year old Clarence M. Graham, 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, shares the love letters her parents exchanged during the war, a lasting legacy of pas
Sep 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a real passion for the years of WWII and found this compilation of letters and memories by Tom Brokaw to be so informative and entertaining. A companion piece to "The Greatest Generation", it is a sequel that expands the views of Brokaw to include people who would not have been thought of otherwise. The reactions by these contributors is important and memorable; real history as seen by real people in their own words. All history should be written this way. It really brought home the wisdo ...more
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I appreciate the fact that Mr. Brokaw has been an inspiration to so many from this generation to write their experiences down. As I was discussing with my wife, the fact that so many who experienced the terrible things of this war, have never spoken of it to anyone, we both felt that this book, and the subsequent letters sent in, have become a fairly significant catalyst for many. Some how it has given many permission to express what has been kept inside for so long. Many of this generation are ...more
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book everyone should read. The thoughts, stories and experiences shared in this book brought me a far more personal understanding of the war and the resilient generation who fought it. Through the letters in this book I was able to have a more personal understanding of what my grandfathers experienced and I feel it has brought me closer to them. It certainly instilled a great love and pride for what my grandparents endured and and understanding of the way they lived their lives and the values ...more
Aug 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed, audio, history
Perhaps not the best one to listen to while driving. Some of the letters are sad and graphic (about POWs and concentration camps, etc.) but others are quite sweet. At times, I did find it difficult to determine when the author was speaking for himself and when he was reading a letter. I haven't read or listened to The Greatest Generation (the precurser to this) but it wasn't strictly necessary to do so.

I don't know what was cut out in this abridged version but it was a bit abrupt and rough in pl
Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my all time favorite books. It is in letter form so it is really easy to read and you skip around you don't have to read it start to finish and you can re read it many many times. I read this book first but Tom Brokaw wrote The Greatest Generation first then he got so many letters responding to his book and telling stories that they recalled from the war that he wrote the Greatest Generation Speaks. Both of my grandparents are from this time both of my grandfathers served in WWII. ...more
Chris King
This short book is moving, heartwarming, and inspirational. Easy to read, and very helpful for understanding what American people went through during WWII.

It's told as a series of vignettes, through letters and personal recollections of people that lived and fought in that time.

It's so important that we don't forget the sacrifices they made, how America and the world changed forever after the war, what was lost, and what was won.
I really enjoyed this book. it took me a longer time to read it because I only read it during my free time at the school wear I tutor twice a weak. I did not read THE GREATEST GENERATION. But i i found this to be a very informative and interesting book because of the personal stories of the greatest generation. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in those who served in WW II.
Dennis Lid
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all readers of history and, especially, the younger generation - "lest we forget."
Recommended to Dennis by: No one.
The book reveals a host of interesting events and adventures of lives lived, sacrifices made, sorrows and joys borne and testaments claimed by the greatest generation. This generation was best exemplified by its challenge, discipline and sacrifice. Its legacy lives on. The book is an interesting and compelling read by one of the best and last
great journalists and anchor persons of our time.

by Dennis Lid
Jeff Brateman
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some pretty good stories, and some narration by Tom Brokaw himself in the Audio book, made this a pretty good read. The stories were grouped together in some coherent fashion. For me, the groupings made it a bit boring hearing a similar story back-to-back, but others may like this format. I suppose it would have made sense to read The Greatest Generation first, as this book references that one over and over.
Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the way the book is so readable and easy to put down and pick up without losing thought. Brokow has a great way of meshing the stories of what took place during WW II together, of weaving them together and of truly "Bringing 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."
Harriett Milnes
I was interested to read this because my friend's story is in the book. I hadn't read the original, The Greatest Generation, but I caught on soon enough to the theme. Unfortunately, my dad has passed on and I only heard a few of his stories. He was in a German P.O.W. camp, having entered France after D-Day.
Glenn Rome
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book reaffirmed my beliefs in the American spirit. I had an appreciation of what went on during WWII from my family members. I read their letters to each other. Tom Brokaw shared letters from famous to not so famous people. I felt their loneliness, isolation and patriotism. For those seeking to know what it means to be an American read Mr. Brokaw's book.
Aug 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this as an audio book & this was a good format for the subject material. This was about my parent's generation, & it puts things into perspective. It was very informative, heart-tugging, & enjoyable. I find this to be a very interesting time in history, from the point of view of the common people. History buffs, WWII buffs, & baby boomers will enjoy.
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a follow up to Brokaw's earlier book on the Greatest Generation. Essentially this book contains all the fan mail that Brokaw received after publishing the earlier book. It is essentially a colleciton of letters that people wrote him. Some of it is interesting but I had a much harder time getting through this one.
Jill Simmons
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in my Father's basement. We had given it to him on Father's Day 2000. I am not sure he ever read it as it seemed he wanted to put these events in his past. This book helped me understand that a little better. It also helped me understand how fortunate he felt to have survived when so many of his buddies did not. I believe that is why he gave back to his family and community.
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. I don't normally listen to audio books but for whatever reason I borrowed this one from the library and listen to it over 3 evenings. The stories were moving, inspiring and fascinating to listen to. I have since bought a print copy of this book and The Greatest Generation and Album of Memories that bookend this volume.
Nov 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beth
After the Greatest Generation was published, many people responded to Tom Brokaw about the people that he wrote about in that first book. It is the responces and his comments that brought this time period and the people who lived it to life. A must read.
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Actually I would give this book a 6 or 7 rating because of the personal experiences related. If you want to know how blessed we are, and how much some sacrificed-here it is. Now I have to go get "The Greatest Generation", the first book which I am sure is as good and probably better.
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing book! Hearing other people's stories made me wish I had asked my grandparents more about their lives during the war. I know multiple stories from one of my grandpa's but there's so much more I would like to know.
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Thomas John Brokaw is an American television journalist and author, previously working on regularly scheduled news documentaries for the NBC television network, and is the former NBC News anchorman and managing editor of the program NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. His last broadcast as anchorman was on December 1, 2004, succeeded by Brian Williams in a carefully planned transition. In the later ...more
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