We received two copies of Tom Brokaw’s “Boom! Voices of the Sixties” for Christmas. I think my friends and relatives thought we should read it. Boom refers to that rather large generation of babies born as World War II ended and are now referred to as the “baby boomers“. The book is about the 1960’s and all the phenomenal happenings of that decade. I lived through/experienced those times as did most of my friends. But, we all experienced the sixties from different vantage points, depending on what we were doing in our lives at that time. I found reading “Boom” a mesmerizing walk through history. All the things happened in that decade--- the assassinations of JFK, his brother Bobby, and Martin Luther King Jr., the Civil Rights Movement, the Free Speech Movement, the Feminist Movement, The Vietnam War, the Hippie era, and the Rock and Roll legends--- still play a major role in our lives today.
Tom Brokaw started as fledgling news reporter in the early sixties, and he uses the many contacts he has made over the last forty years to create a book that chronicles the happenings of the sixties. He uses the voices of people we know and some I had never heard of, who saw first hand the incredible things that happened and came to be in the sixties. There are stories of the Civil Rights leaders, the Vietnam soldiers, the MASH nurse, the son of a World War II veteran who made the decision to go to Canada, the writers, the leaders of the feminist movement, the political icons, the leaders of the free speech movement in Berkeley and many more. They give their own personal view of the sixties and it all comes together in a complex story that is our history. A question that comes to mind at the end of this completely engaging book is, “What did we learn from those turbulent times?” As Tom Brokaw states in his introduction, “The evidence is still coming in and the jury is still out-------and forty years later we don’t seem anywhere near being able to render a verdict.” Read “Boom!”, it’s a great, nostalgic, and enlightening walk through the sixties.