Former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw has called those who lived during World War II “the greatest generation.” Is this phrase accurate? Max Hastings, the journalist and former editor of The Daily Telegraph, says in his latest work of military history, Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944–45 (Knopf, $35) www.aaknopf.com:
“The phrase ‘the greatest generation’ is sometimes used in the U.S. to describe those who lived through those times. This seems inapt. The people of World War II may have adopted different fashions and danced to different music from us, but human behavior, aspirations and fears do not alter much. It is more appropriate to call them, without jealousy, ‘the generation to which the greatest things happened.’”
© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.