say the words Tom Brokaw, the image of him anchoring the "NBC
Nightly News" from 1982 to 2004, probably pops in your head.
However, the 73-year-old journalist still works for the Peacock
network. He produces long-form documentaries and regularly shares
his insight on breaking news events.
has published several books over the course of his long broadcasting
career. The first was “The Greatest Generation” back
in 1999, followed by “The Greatest Generation Speaks”
a year later. He released “An Album of Memories” in
2001, “A Long Way Home: Growing Up in the American Heartland”
in 2002, “Galen Rowell: A Retrospective” in 2006 and
“Boom! Voices of the Sixties Personal Reflections on the
'60s and Today.” In 2007. That brings us to his current
non-fiction book, “The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation
is different from the others in that it reveals the challenges
facing America in the millennium. In the preface, Brokaw talks
about how he interviewed hundreds of Americans from all over the
country to come up with that list. Also, the veteran newsman discusses
how he would solve each of those issues.
are four sections in the book: Getting the Fundamentals Right,
Assignment America, How We Make It Through This New Dot-Com Age,
and What Now, Grandma and Grandpa? Each chapter begins
with a question proposed by Brokaw and his response. Then, there
are three parts: The Past, The Present and The Promise.
The first talks about how Brokaw would solve that challenge in
the past while the second discusses how to solve the problem today
and the last is how to solve it in the future.
As a reporter,
I enjoyed Brokaw’s discussion on the future of journalism,
which came in chapter 13. He said that newspapers are struggling
the most. When all-news cable channels arrived, newspaper subscriptions
dropped significantly. Several newspapers have went out of business
internet came right behind, with an explosive impact,” Brokaw
said. “At first dismissed as a solely academic tool by the
likes of Bill Gates and other forefathers of the personal computer
age, the Net quickly created a vast new universe of news and information.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, print ad revenue
brought in almost $49 billion to newspapers. By 2010, that number
had fallen to almost $23 billion, a drop of 53 percent.”
newsman also mentioned the Detroit Tigers in chapter 16 of his
new book. He discussed the impact of the Armando Galarraga’s
no-hitter, which was ruined by a bad call from umpire Jim Joyce.
I remember this game all too well because I was sitting in the
stands at Comerica Park when it happened.
the game, umpire Joyce reviewed the video and knew that he had
made the wrong call,” Brokaw wrote. “A veteran and
highly respected ump, Joyce unconditionally acknowledged his error,
saying, ‘I cost the kid a perfect game.’ The following
night at Tiger Stadium (sic), Detroit manager Jim Leyland made
a great call of his own. He asked Galarraga to present the night’s
lineup card to Joyce at the beginning of the game…Joyce
teared up and the Detroit fans gave both men a standing ovation.”
parts of the book that I enjoyed include his discussions on how
everyday Americans are working to fix our schools, how Americans
need to tighten their belts and only buy things they truly need,
how more Americans are volunteering their time than ever before
and what needs to be done to take care of America’s growing
recommend this book to everyone. Brokaw discusses several different
topics and one of them is sure to peak your interest. I also recommend
this book for those of you who used to watch the evening news
with Dan Rather or Peter Jennings instead of Brokaw. “The
Time of Our Lives” is a must-read and will make a perfect
gift for your friends, family or significant other.
OVERALL RATING: A
Time of Our Lives: A Conversation about America is available
in bookstores everywhere.
978-0812975123 / Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks / (September
4, 2012) / Paperback: 320 pages
Mayim Bialik discusses her book 'Beyond the Sling' in Pasadena,
Jason Rzucidlo met Tom Brokaw during one of his recent book signings.
Credit: Random House
excerpt from "The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About