Synopses & Reviews
Christmas from Heaven is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn land, the story of Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which US forces flew much-needed supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin.
As he performed his duties, Lt. Halvorsen began to notice the German children gathered by the fences of Tempelhof Air Base. Knowing that they had very little, he one day offered them some chewing gum. From that small act, an idea sprang: He would andquot;bombandquot; Berlin with candy. Fashioning small parachutes, he and his crew sent them floating down as they approached the Berlin airport, wiggling the wings of their C-54 as a signal to the children that their anticipated cargo would soon arrive.
Lt. Halvorsen became known by hundreds, if not thousands, of children in Berlin as andquot;Uncle Wiggly Wingsandquot; or andquot;The Candy Bomber.andquot; Word soon spread, and donations of candy and other supplies poured in from sympathetic Americans. Lt. Halvorsenand#39;s small idea became a great symbol of hope not only to German children in a bombed-out city but to all those who yearned for freedom.
The instant classic and runaway bestseller that changed the way we saw World War II and an entire generation of Americans, from the beloved journalist whose own iconic career has lasted more than fifty years.
In this magnificent testament to a nation and her people, Tom Brokaw brings to life the extraordinary stories of a generation that gave new meaning to courage, sacrifice, and honor.
From military heroes to community leaders to ordinary citizens, he profiles men and women who served their country with valor, then came home and transformed it: Senator Daniel Inouye, decorated at the front, fighting prejudice at home; Martha Settle Putney, one of the first black women to serve in the newly formed WACs; Charles Van Gorder, a doctor who set up a MASH-like medical facility in the middle of battle, then opened a small clinic in his hometown; Navy pilot and future president George H. W. Bush, assigned to read the mail of the enlisted men under him, who says that in doing so he "learned about life"; and many other laudable Americans.
To this generation that gave so much and asked so little, Brokaw offers eloquent tribute in true stories of everyday heroes in extraordinary times.
Praise for The Greatest Generation
"Moving . . . a tribute to the members of the World War II generation to whom we Americans and the world owe so much."--The New York Times Book Review
"Full of wonderful, wrenching tales of a generation of heroes. Tom Brokaw reminds us what we are capable of as a people. An inspiring read for those who wish their spirits lifted."--Colin L. Powell
"Offers welcome inspiration . . . It is impossible to read even a few of these accounts and not be touched by the book's overarching message: We who followed this generation have lived in the midst of greatness."--The Washington Times
"Entirely compelling."--The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Tom Brokaw is a legendary TV journalist, and#160;anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004, he is the only person to host each of NBC Newsandrsquo;s major news programs: The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and Meet the Press. He has won several awards, including a Peabody Award and seven Emmys. He is the author of The Greatest Generation and The Greatest Generation Speaks, among other books. He and his wife, Meredith, have three daughters and five grandchildren.
Robert T. Barrett is a professor of illustration at Brigham Young University and has served as associate dean of the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications. He holds a BFA from the University of Utah and an MA and MFA from the University of Iowa. He is a member of the Society of Illustrators and was awarded the 2010 Distinguished Educator in the Arts Award. He has illustrated such books as The Story of the Walnut Tree; Silent Night, Holy Night: The Story of the Christmas Truce;and#160;andand#160;Obama: Only in America. He and his wife, Vicki, are the parents of ten children.