He was the face of NBC Nightly News for decades, covering the news and stories that shaped America. Now, Tom Brokaw looks back on the tumultuous events of the 1960s in his new book Boom! Voices of the Sixties: Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today. Tom talks with Gayle about the book and about his own life in the 1960s.
While many people remember the counterculture of the '60s, Tom says the time period's legacy is much more multidimensional. "Most people have this fixed memory of the '60s—it's all about flower children and joyful sounds and human beings—and it was more complicated," he says. "It had its dark side as well as its sunny side, and a lot of people who were living through it at the time were rejecting a lot of what passed for the new conventions of the '60s."
For Tom, the 1960s was a decade filled with profound social and political change that had a huge impact on him personally as well as the nation as whole. He's says the civil rights movement marked a pivotal time of progress and that the women's movement was "long overdue." As a young man and reporter, Tom says he experienced the full breadth of '60s culture. "I had a foot in the psychedelic waters of the '60s and a foot on the terra firma of the '50s."