Reporting America

Overview

Over fifty years of reportage on American life by one of the 20th century's greatest broadcasters for nearly sixty years, Alistair Cooke reported on American life for the BBC. Reporting America is a fascinating account of history in the making. His beloved radio show, Letter from America, saw eleven presidents, four wars, and an incredible shift in culture. He adored the u.s. as only a naturalized citizen could, and his reports were incisive and often moving. Cooke traveled extensively all over the united states ...

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Reporting America

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Overview

Over fifty years of reportage on American life by one of the 20th century's greatest broadcasters for nearly sixty years, Alistair Cooke reported on American life for the BBC. Reporting America is a fascinating account of history in the making. His beloved radio show, Letter from America, saw eleven presidents, four wars, and an incredible shift in culture. He adored the u.s. as only a naturalized citizen could, and his reports were incisive and often moving. Cooke traveled extensively all over the united states to convey the views of citizens in all the nuances of regional opinion as well as those of the presidents and policy makers to whom he had easy access.

Susan Cooke Kittredge's introduction offers rare insight into the life of her father, the man many knew as the voice of Letter from America and the host of CBS's Omnibus and PBS's Masterpiece Theatre. Here are the triumphs, disasters and vicissitudes of American life —from Korea, McCarthyism, the Civil Rights movement, JFK, the moon landings, Watergate, Nixon's resignation, Clinton's scandals, the attacks of 9/11, right up to the war with Iraq —as told by one of the century's most admired reporters.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A fitting tribute to Cooke and his accounts of postwar America, this collection of his dispatches ranging from the soldiers of WWII coming home in 1946 to the threat of Saddam in 2004 coincides with what would have been Cooke's 100th birthday (he died in 2004). Cooke, an Englishman who adopted America as his home, captured the country's historic moments (Korea, the civil rights movement, the moon landing, Watergate), but also traveled extensively and gave voice to the man in the street and outside of the hotbeds of power. Best known as the host of television's Masterpiece Theater and the voice of radio's Letter from America, Cooke was both a force and a media darling. Photos accompany his "letters" (he wrote nearly 3,000 of them), and his daughter writes a touching introduction and commentaries. A personal take on a tumultuous time, this book will especially appeal to those who were there. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The New York Times
A peerless observer of the American scene for almost 70 years . . . His observations were not only insightful but also gracefully written and often gently witty.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590201831
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 11/26/2008
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.42 (w) x 10.24 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Alistair Cooke was born in England in 1908 and was educated at Yale, Harvard, and Cambridge. He was best known for his weekly BBC radio broadcast Letter from America, which reported on fifty-eight years of American life and totaled 2,869 broadcasts.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Susan Cooke Kittredge 1

1946-1959 23

Coming Home 27

The GI Bill 32

Harry S. Truman 37

Joe Louis 41

New Year's Eve, 1951 45

A Year of No Lynchings 50

President Eisenhower 52

Cancer and Smoking 55

Revulsion Against McCarthy 59

Bikini Island Detonation 63

The Untravelled Road 66

Humphrey Bogart 70

The USA vs. the State of Arkansas 74

Castro in Control of Cuba 77

Hawaii: The Fiftieth State 80

A Catholic as Candidate? 83

1960-1969 89

Mr Kennedy Takes Over 93

Fiasco in Cuba 96

Gary Cooper 102

Glenn Home and Dry 106

Marilyn Monroe 110

Meredith Registered 112

Ultimatum to USSR 115

Questioning the President 120

President Kennedy Assassinated 125

The Assassination 128

L.B.J., the Thirty-Sixth President 133

Coming Through 137

The Los Angeles Riots 142

Walt Disney 147

Muhammad Ali's Challenge 150

The Permissive Society 153

Harvesting the Grapes of Wrath 156

The Cost of the Vietnam War 160

The Death of Martin Luther King, Jr. 165

A Mule Cortège 170

At the Ambassador Hotel 173

Nixon Hits the TV Networks 177

Change in the White House? 181

Shooting for the Moon 186

Chappaquiddick 190

1970-1979 195

Louis Armstrong 200

Anti-Hijacking Plans 205

Vietnam 209

Leaving Vietnam 214

Sincere According to Truth 219

Kidnapping of Patricia Hearst 224

Nixon Resigns 232

President Ford 237

Fall of Saigon 242

President Carter 246

New York 'Blackouts' 251

Three Mile Island 257

Why Iran Took the Hostages 262

1980-1989 267

A Fiasco in the Desert 272

American Extremes 277

John Lennon and Handgun Laws 282

President Reagan 286

Attempted Assassination of President Reagan 291

Clear and Present Danger 296

Ronald Reagan vs. Darth Vader 301

Chicago 306

Invasion of Grenada 311

Hype 316

Jesse Jackson in Cuba 321

TWA Hostage Crisis 326

Explosion of Challenger Space Shuttle 331

Gorbachev and Reagan Playing Chess 336

Iran-Contra Hearings 341

New Anxieties 346

The New, New Bush 351

San Francisco Earthquake 356

The Berlin Wall 361

1990-2004 367

Reagan's Achievement 372

Fighting for Oil 376

The Passing of the Blue Blazer 380

The O. J. Simpson Case 384

Microsoft and Monsters 389

Bill and Monica 394

Our Long Holiday from History is Over 399

'These are my times and I must know them' 404

Rosa Parks 408

Y2K Alert 412

The Scandal of Pardons 417

9/11 America's Day of Terror 422

Iraq and Foreign Policy 426

Temperatures Drop 430

Was Saddam a Threat or Not? 434

Postscript 438

Index 444

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