Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for An album of memories : personal histories from the greatest generation
An album of memories : personal histories from the greatest generation
1st large print ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Random House, ©2001.
Physical Description:
ix, 428 pages (large print) : illustrations, maps ; 26 cm
pt. 1. From the Depression to Pearl Harbor -- pt. 2. The war in Europe -- pt. 3. The war in the Pacific -- pt. 4. The home front -- pt. 5. Reflections.
Consists chiefly of primary source material in the form of personal narratives, letters, and period photographs.
Conference Subject:


Call Number
94.54 BROKAW
973.915 BROKAW

On Order



A seventeen-year-old who enlisted in the army in 1941 writes to describe the Bataan Death March. Other members of the greatest generation describe their war -- in such historic episodes as Guadalcanal, the D-Day invasion, the Battle of the Bulge, and Midway -- as well as their life on the home front. In this beautiful American family album of stories, reflections, memorabilia, and photographs, history comes alive and is preserved, in people's own words and through photographs and time lines that commemorate important dates and events. Starting with the Depression and Pearl Harbor, on through the war in Europe and the Pacific, this unusual book preserves a people's rich historical heritage and the legacy of the heroism of a nation.

Author Notes

Tom Brokaw, a native of South Dakota, graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in political science. He began his journalism career in Omaha & Atlanta before joining NBC News in 1966. Brokaw was the White House correspondent for NBC News during Watergate, and from 1976 to 1981 he anchored Today on NBC. He's been the sole anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw since 1983. Brokaw has won every major award in broadcast journalism, including two DuPonts, a Peabody Award, and several Emmys. He is the author of the bestselling books "The Greatest Generation" and "The Greatest Generation Speaks". He lives in New York and Montana.

(Publisher Provided) Tom Brokaw, born February 6, 1940, is a television journalist and author best known as the anchor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004. He received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

Brokaw is the author of The Greatest Generation (1998), The Greatest Generation Speaks(1999), An Album of Memories(2001), A Long Way from Home: Growing Up in the American Heartland (2002), Boom!: Voices of the Sixties Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today (2007), and The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation about America - Who We Are, Where We've Been, and Where We Need to Go Now, to Recapture the American Dream (2011). He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

Brokaw is the only person to host all three major NBC News programs: The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and, briefly, Meet the Press. He now serves as a Special Correspondent for NBC News and works on documentaries for other outlets.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Ever since he released his tribute to The Greatest Generation, Brokaw has been inundated, happily, by a generous and appreciative outpouring of responses from those who built modern-day America. Their voices in his sequel, The Greatest Generation Speaks, triggered even more memories of the American experience in WWII. To honor both these additional stories and the new WWII memorial in Washington, D.C. (proceeds from the book will help fund it), Brokaw has compiled this new collection of letters and photos in an arrangement that is, appropriately, both familial and formal. Most of the selections were written by men who served in the armed forces, but Brokaw also includes letters from veterans' wives, children and grandchildren who have inherited a legacy they want to share. Brokaw divides the contributions into categories such as "The Great Depression," "The Home Front" and "The War in Europe," and provides a brief overview of each period. Although his historical introductions are somewhat simplistic accounts of well-known events, he does include more controversial information on the internment of Japanese-Americans and the racism within the armed forces. But the strength of this collection lies in the engrossing and evocative letters. They document the actual experiences of men and women who risked their lives and endured great hardships for what they strongly believed was a good cause. Women widowed by the war provide haunting memoirs of the young men they loved and lost. Running through the correspondence are the values of patriotism, self-sacrifice and courage under fire that so characterized this wartime generation. 90 b&w photos, time lines and maps. Agent, Ken Starr. (May 8) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

TV news anchors Brokaw and Rather extend existing franchises in their latest books. Brokaw's nightly NBC news broadcast may not lead in the ratings, but his Greatest Generation volumes have been a publishing phenomenon. Album is likely to continue this highly successful pattern; it gathers letters written to Brokaw by Americans who lived through the Depression and World War II and, in some cases, letters written by their children. Brokaw provides a brief introduction and a time line for each chapter; these cover the Depression, the war in Europe and in the Pacific, and the wartime "home front," closing with "Reflections." The book is lavishly illustrated with reproductions of photographs, drawings, documents, and other memorabilia of the era. In the end, though, the appeal of these books lies in the stories Brokaw's correspondents tell: the experiences of ordinary and not-so-ordinary Americans during the difficult middle years of the twentieth century. Fans of Rather's CBS Evening News will find the title of his latest volume familiar: for two years, CBS Evening News has frequently included feature reports called "The American Dream." Rather uses the same title for some of his CBS radio commentaries. The justification for shifting this multimedia reportage to print is the fact that both TV and radio "present the intractable problem of time." In this book, Rather can tell more stories of individual Americans and their dreams--only one of the subjects here has also been covered on TV--and can spend more time examining how their dreams "fit into the larger currents of the American Dream." Rather groups his material into chapters that focus on elements of our national aspirations: liberty, enterprise, pursuit of happiness, family, fame, education, innovation, and "giving back." The Americans that Rather describes are a diverse group but, he urges, their stories are an inspirational reminder of the power of the nation's fundamental ideas to motivate a wide range of people. --Mary Carroll

Library Journal Review

Thanks in part to NBC news anchor Brokaw, the "greatest generation" will certainly not become the forgotten generation anytime soon. This sequel to The Greatest Generation Speaks uses the same format: letters written to Brokaw describing everything from domestic activities to life as a soldier in World War II. In this work, coverage begins with recollections of the Great Depression and then proceeds to the different theaters of the war. Coverage of the Dirty Thirties is slow and somewhat boring, with letters that run along the lines of, "Dear Tom, I had to wear my older sister's hand-me-downs and work evenings at the movie show. Thank You." However, once readers reach the war period, they will not be able to put the book down. Even more so than the rugged Depression era, it was World War II that made and molded this hardy generation. Especially touching are those letters that contain the evolution of a life, from depictions of boot camp and love and loneliness to horror and battle and, finally, death (copies of death and grave notices and sometimes letters written by soldiers who were friends of the deceased are included). One becomes almost part of the soldier's family. Some of the proceeds from book sales will go to the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. Sure to hit the best sellers list (and hopefully the last in Brokaw's series), this book is essential for public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/01.] Richard Nowicki, formerly with Emerson Vocational High, Buffalo, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. IX
Part 1 From The Depression To Pearl Harborp. 1
Part 2 The War In Europep. 37
Part 3 The War In The Pacificp. 147
Part 4 The Home Frontp. 219
Part 5 Reflectionsp. 255
Contributorsp. 313