Alistair Cooke (1908-2004) was one of the microphone's great observers, the doyen of foreign correspondents, and the world's most famous letter writer.
For more than fifty years, he explained the Americans through his weekly 'Letter from America', the longest running one-man series in broadcasting history. It was a virtuoso performance ; informed, informal, shrewd, funny and erudite.
In this personally chosen selection, from 1946 to 1968, Cooke tours from an Indian village in New Mexico, to riots in Los Angeles, recalls the kidnapping of a baby, or the trials of a summer bachelor, and gives us vivid word pictures of great events like, John Glenn's journey into space, and the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
Each evokes a particular time and place but each - through Cooke's unique epistolary powers - has a resonance that echoes down the years.
Side One :-
1) My First Indian (Spring 1947) 2) A Baby is Missing (Spring 1950) 3) Typical Americans (Spring 1949) 4) The Summer Bachelor (Jun 1950)
Side Two :-
1) The American Neurosis : Instant Health (Summer 1957) 2) Alcatraz (Summer 1959) 3) Marshall (Oct 1959) 4) Glenn in Orbit (Feb 1962)
Side Three :-
1) A Ruined Woman (Jan 1967) 2) Beizbol (Autumn 1961) 3) The Non-Assassination of John F Kennedy (Oct 1964) 4) The Frontiersman (Nov 1967)
Side Four :-
1) Watts - 1965 (Spring 1965) 2) Invisible Rulers (Spring 1956) 3) Bad Night in Los Angeles (Jun 1968) 4) The Business of America (Spring 1965)