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The Time of Our LIves

A nonfiction book by Tom Brokaw

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America must get back to the basics.

  • Jun 10, 2012
  • by
My how time flies! Television journalist and author Tom Brokaw is now a septuagenarian. Mr. Brokaw believes that for the sake of our children and grandchildren the time has come for the American people to engage in an honest and far-reaching conversation about the future of this country. There are so many important issues on the table that need to be hashed out. In his new book "The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About America" Tom Brokaw has taken the first step in attempting to ignite this discussion. And in spite of the fact that Brokaw and I find ourselves on opposite sides of the political spectrum I believe that he is someone with whom I could find much common ground. I agree with Tom that this is precisely what this hopelessly divided nation needs to do to begin to heal our wounds and get back on track.

One recurring theme promulgated in "The Time of Our Lives" is the notion of "public-private partnerships". Tom Brokaw believes that "As the debate over public vs charter schools heats up school board meetings, op-ed pages, and think tanks, my own experience leads me to believe that a mix of public and private is the best approach. Plainly there are areas where public school parents need another choice for their children." Touche! Brokaw offers some intriguing and hopeful examples of how this concept has proven to be highly successful in different parts of the country. It appears to be a "win-win" for everyone involved. Brokaw also touches on tha idea of requiring some sort of "national service" for our young people. This is an idea I would have personally been in favor of 10 or 15 years ago. But as a conservative I have to admit that I am now very suspicious about the motivation behind this. Still, there are many upsides to such a plan and I am certainly willing to listen.

Meanwhile, there are a host of other substantial issues that we Americans need to talk about. I agree with Brokaw that we really do need to sort out those painful end-of-life issues that we tend to avoid like the plague. Clearly there are vast religious and philosophical differences among us but the system we have in place is clearly unsustainable. This is a conversation that needs to feature a little more honesty and a lot less mud-slinging. Brokaw also talks about the need for our communities to provide adequate lifetime support for our wounded veterans. He offers a number of concrete ideas to help make this happen. Brokaw also concedes that our children and grandchildren are probably going to have to make do with less and why this may not be such a bad thing after all.

As the economic collapse of 2008 clearly demonstrates the United States had lost it's way. Americans had become too aloof and self-centered. Too many of us bit off more than we could chew financially. The American people need step out of their cocoons and engage once again in civic and community affairs. We need to be much more generous with our time, talent and treasure. "The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About America" will help to crystallize these ideas in your mind. This is a book that is definitely worth reading. Recommended!

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June 12, 2012
"We need . . . ." This is interesting so thank you for that, but after reading about your anger at J.C. Penney for featuring a same-sex couple in its advertising I can't help suspecting that you define "we" narrowly.
June 10, 2012
Americans need to be more focused in pursuing relevant and job related education. In addition, we should save more, make wiser purchases and eat better food. The government at all levels needs to do a similar thing.
More The Time of Our LIves reviews
Quick Tip by . December 15, 2011
At the midpoint in this very interesting book by newsman Tom Brokaw and really enjoying it. Will post a full review when I've finished it.
About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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