This afternoon, I talked with Tom Brokaw about his new book, “Boom! Voice of the Sixties.” Think of it as Sons (and Daughters) of the Greatest Generation.
The title (“Boom!”) isn’t just a nod to the baby boomers, but also acknowledgement of the explosive impact of the events that made up the decade (which Brokaw doesn’t define as 1960-69, but rather from the death of JFK in 1963 through Nixon’s resignation in 1974). We discussed the assassinations of RFK and MLK, the civil rights struggle, the anti-war effort, and the impact of sixties music.
I also asked him how his wife Meredith handled segueing from society’s expectations of a young bride in the early sixties through the years of women’s liberation. In the book, Brokaw shares memories with Jane Pauley, Colin Powell, and many others, and writes about how baby boomers Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich were so similar.
Brokaw says the verdict isn’t in on the 60s yet, but that hasn’t stopped a backlash against much of what made that decade so different.