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”- Tom Brokaw

What a fantastic title for a book.  Without even cracking it open and reading the inside flap in that Target New Releases isle, I was already intrigued.  Unfortunately, being hungry and needing to spend the $20 in my pocket on food and gas, I wasn’t able to purchase the book for myself.  Luckily, I was surprised with it as a gift (among chocolates and other sweets) during the holidays.  I read it in a week.

It’s organized in a way that discusses topics in US and political history as how things were done in the past, how they’re done now and Brokaw’s opinion of how things could effectively be done in the future.  He weaves his own personal experience and others profiles and anecdotes in and out of the historical discussion to emphasize his point.  He often also gives inspiring examples of altruism- which after a certain point becomes overkill.

At some points in the book I find myself feeling like an old women in Mississippi sitting in her Gospel church saying, “Amen! Preach it! Hallelujah!” because of how much I agree with his statement.  Other times I’m a dog cocking its head to the side in confusion when my owner pretended to throw my toy, but actually hid it behind his back.

For example: I am a very cynical, skeptical and sarcastic person.  Brokaw seems to be very optimistic in many parts of this book about the future of the US and it’s often difficult for me to wrap my head around how he could see these things so positively.

I do recommend trying out this book, but don’t be alarmed if you don’t agree with everything or find some of the stories or examples a tad irrelevent.  You’re going to come across that all throughout life anyway, so get used to it.

What I enjoyed most about this book was taking a look at America’s past through the eyes of a veteran journalist who has seen so much and been directly informed in his years through reporting.  No history book or 25 year old professor can speak about these things in this way.

Hope you enjoy!
-Haley L.

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