Alistair Cooke: A Biography

Alistair Cooke: A Biography

by Nick Clarke
     
 

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One of the preeminent journalists of the twentieth century, Alistair Cooke has enjoyed a truly extraordinary career in print, radio, and television. Born into a working-class family and christened Alfred, Cooke swiftly broke free of his modest origins and became the foremost commentator on American life and politics, first for the British press and eventually for the

Overview

One of the preeminent journalists of the twentieth century, Alistair Cooke has enjoyed a truly extraordinary career in print, radio, and television. Born into a working-class family and christened Alfred, Cooke swiftly broke free of his modest origins and became the foremost commentator on American life and politics, first for the British press and eventually for the entire world. Alistair Cooke: A Biography is both a fascinating record of one man's determination to reinvent himself and a lively and informative journey through the highways and byways of the twentieth century.

Author Biography: Nick Clarke joined BBC TV News in 1973. Since 1989 he has been a BBC Radio presenter, first on The World This Weekend and since 1994 on The World at One. He is married and lives in London.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Clarke, a BBC television and radio journalist in London, rarely brings Cooke (b. 1908) to life on the pages of this new biography, already published in England. To lots of Americans, the British-born Cooke is known primarily as the urbane, erudite host of Masterpiece Theatre. But that incarnation did not begin until 1971. Long before that, Cooke had established himself as a print and broadcast journalist commentator, specializing n helping his native citizenry understand their rebellious and remarkable colonies of long-ago. Cooke arrived in the U. S. in 1932 not to become a journalist, but rather to study theater at Yale. Nobody, including Cooke, realized then that America would become his adopted home for the rest of the century, and that he would become its interpreter to a significant part of the world. Journalists are usually outsiders, dependent on what insiders will tell them. That means biographies of journalists are difficult to write compellingly, because the subjects are rarely primary actors. Clarke's accounts of how outsider Cooke did, and did not, cover the administrations of various U.S. presidents are, for the most part, stultifying. Clarke is more successful when examining Cooke's personal life. He discusses nothing scandalous or even lewd, but there are moments of insight, such as the 20-something budding intellectual adopting the name "Alistair" to substitute for the Alfred chosen by his parents; his inability to deal sensibly with money, whether poor or relatively wealthy and his occasionally tense family life. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Alistair Cooke is one of the most recognizable broadcast personalities in America, a man whose career in journalism spanned the 20th century. The depth and breadth of his associates, from Charlie Chaplin to Leonard Bernstein--not to mention presidents and leaders of industry--made him better informed on America than most Americans. Although Letters from America, his observations on American life for the BBC, was his life's work, he is best known as the host of Masterpiece Theatre. BBC Radio presenter Clarke successfully executes the formidable project of displaying this great journalist as a human being, struggling financially, perpetually cadging cigarettes from BBC producers, and laboring to be a parent. We see Cooke the amateur bootlegger, the unemployed correspondent, and the drama critic working hard to find his legs as a news commentator. This excellent biography of a man who rose from modest beginnings to the highest ranks of society is strongly recommended for public and college collections.--Robert Moore, Raytheon, Sudbury, MA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
BBC radio presenter Clarke recounts the life of the prominent British journalist, widely known as the host of and author of the weekly . Working in print, radio, and television, Cooke became the foremost commentator on American life, first for the British press and eventually for the whole world. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Peggy Constantine
Without fawning or criticizing, Clarke has written a straightforward, mostly chronological biography of one of the notable men of England and the United States of the 20th century.
New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559706063
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
12/06/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
546
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.25(d)

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