Letter from America 1946-2004
’No one else succeeded in explaining to the English-speaking world … the idiosyncrasies of a country at once so familiar, and yet so utterly foreign’ Independent
When Alistair Cooke retired in February 2004 he was acclaimed as one of the greatest broadcasters of all time. His Letter from America radio series, which began in 1946 and continued every week for fifty-eight years until his retirement, kept the world in touch with what was happening in America. Cooke’s wry, humane and liberal style both informed and entertained his audience. The selection here, made largely by Cooke himself and supplemented by his literary executor, gives us the very best of these legendary broadcasts. It covers key moments from the assassination of Kennedy through to the Vietnam War and Watergate to 9/11, the Iraq War and anticipates the 2004 elections. It includes portraits of the great and the good from Charlie Chaplin to Martin Luther King, Jr, and topics as varied as civil rights, golf, jazz and the changing colours of a New England fall. Each Letter contributes to a captivating portrait of a nation – and of a man.
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