"America Observed" provides, for the first time, a collection of Alistair Cooke's memorable dispatches to "The Guardian" written between 1946 and 1972, the year that he retired as the paper's chief American correspondent. Ronald Wells has selected over 50 interpretative peices that span the great range of Cooke's reporting: politics, literature, sport, vignettes of regional life, long-gone Presidents from Truman to Nixon, the racial turmoil of the 1960s and profiles of Americans as various as Frank Lloyd Wright and Garry Cooper, Eleanor Roosevelt and Marilyn Monroe. Alistair Cooke is best know for his weekly BBC broadcast "Letter from America" which is heard in 52 countries and is the longest-running radio series in broadcasting history. He is author of three collections: "Talk About America", "Letters from America" and "The Americans".
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Recognized by many Americans as the host of Masterpiece Theatre, Cooke first became known as a perceptive interpreter of American culture and politics for Britons as chief U.S. correspondent for the Guardian . Reprinted here are 58 of his brief essays from 1946 to 1985, almost all of them from that newspapaper. The pieces range broadly. Some deal with presidential politics in Washington, others with mundane life in small towns around the country. Likewise, the tone varies from serious to tongue-in-cheek. What makes these essays interesting is Cooke's ability to discuss Americans' problems and peculiarities without mockery. Cooke displays genuine insight and wit, even in the midst of some of the most turbulent events of this century. Highly recommended. Charles K. Piehl, Mankato State Univ., Minn.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Of this collection of 55 pieces, PW remarked that "none seems outdated," commending Cooke as "a judicious journalist, decent, disinterested, yet ever curious, a courier of news about our country who writes graceful prose and who causes us to observe ourselves afresh."
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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