Tom Brokaw on the ‘Work in Progress’ Generation

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Brokaw and his wife.Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

In 1998, legendary newsman Tom Brokaw released The Greatest Generation, a book about the Americans who lived through the Great Depression and fought in World War II. The label stuck, and is still widely used to this day. So when we caught up with Brokaw at the International Rescue Committee Freedom Awards at the Waldorf–Astoria last night, we asked him to coin a term to describe a different generation — the one composed of recent college graduates. With a laugh, he told us, "Work in Progress." A bit bleak, sure, but they'll be okay, Brokaw insisted. "You're doing fine," he said. "You just need more support from those of us who are a little bit older and you need more definition about what you want to do and how you want to do it." Occupy Wall Street in particular. "What do they want to achieve?" Brokaw asked. "You've got to have goals."