15 November 2007

Brokaw's Boom!

Tom Brokaw always made the news go down easy. Even uncomfortable clumps. Nothing was ever too prickly, made you bleed or gag.

So goes Boom! - a book about his experiences in (more or less) the 1960s. Mr. Brokaw was around a lot of influential folk from all over the cultural and political map. Most of it is insider stuff and fun to read. Early in his career he covered what is arguably the most important movement of the decade - Civil Rights - and his points of view and personal profiles of the individuals he knew were for me the most interesting and vital chapters.

Brokaw comes pretty close to defining the 'generation' (or at least the era that he's covering) the same way I do. As I state in the intro to this blog - it's a diverse, unwieldy group. After reading Boom! you'll consider that an understatement.

Boom! has been criticized for leaning too much on the remembrances and evaluations of famous and influential people - but those were the people Mr. Brokaw knew. It's what I expected. After all, the subtitle is Personal Reflections on The Sixties and Today. Perhaps the problem is that Boom! is being perceived and/or touted as the book about the 1960s. Of course it's not. It's one of many, with many more to come.

The more you know about your target market, the better. So I'll recommend Boom! to anybody interested in advertising and marketing to Baby Boomers - along with Len Steinhorn's The Greater Generation: In Defense of The Baby Boom Legacy. (And there are dozens of others.)

Janet Maslin's Review of Boom! in The New York Times.

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