Alistair Cooke

The Alistair Cooke Collection Volume One

Three volumes of BBC broadcasts about the US from the New York Times–bestselling author, host of Masterpiece Theater, and “international treasure” (Booklist).
In addition to his most visible presence as the host of PBS’s Masterpiece Theater for over two decades, British-born Alistair Cooke entertained and informed millions of listeners around the globe with his weekly BBC radio program, Letters from America, for over half a century. An outstanding observer of the American scene, he became one of the world’s best-loved broadcasters. The three works in this collection gather together his most memorable insights into American history and culture. “Reading [Cooke] is like spending an evening with him: you may have heard it all before, but never told with such grace and sparkle” (The New York Times Book Review).
Letters from America: Beginning with his first letter in 1946, a powerful description of American GIs returning home, and ending with his last broadcast in February 2004, reflecting on the presidential campaign, this comprehensive collection displays Cooke’s “virtuosity approaching genius in talking about America in human terms” (Lord Hill of Luton, chairman of the BBC). Highlights include an eyewitness account of Robert Kennedy’s assassination, a moving evocation of 9/11, personal reflections on presidents, and warm remembrances of celebrity friends and cultural icons.
“In this tightly edited collection . . . Cooke captures the expanding soul of a nation and people.” —Publishers Weekly
Talk About America: Personally selected by Cooke, these dispatches cover a tumultuous time in American history, including the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. Along with cogent commentary, Cooke offers characteristically incisive portraits of political and cultural figures such as John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert Frost, H. L. Mencken, Charles Lindbergh, and John Glenn.
“There is great political penetration here, and there are flashes on every page of wit, humanity, and wisdom.” —The New York Times
The Americans: Always entertaining, provocative, and enlightening, the “best storyteller in America” reports on an extraordinarily diverse range of topics, from Vietnam, Watergate, and the constitutional definition of free speech to the jogging craze and the pleasures of a family Christmas in Vermont (James Reston). In this New York Times bestseller, Cooke eulogizes Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, pays an affectionate and moving tribute to Duke Ellington, and treats readers to a night at the opera with Jimmy Carter.
“One of the most gifted and urbane essayists of the century.” —The Spectator
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