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A Long Way From Home: Growing Up in the American Heartland

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Dan Cashman

6 Hours 18 Minutes

Random House (Audio)

July 2002

Audio Book Summary

Reflections on America and the American experience as he has lived and observed it, by the bestselling author of The Greatest Generation.

In this beautiful memoir, Tom Brokaw writes of America and of the American experience. From his parents’ life in the 1930s, on to his boyhood along the Missouri River and on the prairies of South Dakota in the ‘40s, into his early journalism career in the ‘50s and the tumultuous ‘60s, up to the present, this personal story is a reflection on America in our time. Tom Brokaw writes about growing up and coming of age in the heartland, and of the family, the people, the culture and the values that shaped him then and still do today. His father, Red Brokaw, a genius with machines, followed the instincts of Tom’s mother Jean, and took the risk of moving his small family from an Army base to Pickstown, South Dakota, where Red got a job as a heavy equipment operator in the Army Corps of Engineers’ project building the Ft. Randall dam along the Missouri River. Tom Brokaw describes how this move became the pivotal decision in their lives, as the Brokaw family, along with others after World War II, began to live out the American Dream: community, relative prosperity, middle-class pleasures, and good educations for their children.

“Along the river and in the surrounding hills, I had a Tom Sawyer boyhood,” Brokaw writes. As he describes his own pilgrimage as it unfolded—from childhood to love, marriage, the early days in broadcast journalism, and beyond—he also reflects on what brought him and so many Americans of his generation to lead lives a long way from home, yet forever affected by it.

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  • Tom from Lafayette

    While I admire Mr.Brokaw and his journalistic talent; and while I respect his character and upbringing....this is pretty hum drum stuff and quickly forgetable.

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  • Anonymous

    I'm not a fan of Tom Brokaw by any means but I really enjoyed this book. Of course I've seen him over the years on TV but never knew much about him. The book itself was great, I thought his narration was excellent and I was very intrigued all the way through. My only complaint (and only thing that kept it from 5 stars) was he went on this little tangent about Indians. I don't even really remember what it was about other than it was long and I thought it took away from the story. If you like autobiographies more than likely you'll like this....and even if you don't you still might like it! I highly recommend it!

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