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Alistair Cooke's American Journey
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Alistair Cooke, then a Washington correspondent for "The Guardian", recognized a great story to be told in investigating at first hand the effects of the Second World War on America and the daily lives of Americans as they adjusted to radically new circumstances. Within weeks of the Pearl Harbor attack, with a reporter's zeal, Cooke set off on a circuit of the entire country to see what the war had done to people. He talked to everyone he encountered on his extensive trip, from miners to lumberjacks, to war-profiteers, to day-laborers, to local politicians - even the unfortunate Japanese-Americans who had been rapidly interned in stark, desert camps. Intertwined with his reflections on changing landscapes and cityscapes and with his unique storytelling skills and insight, his acute ability to define detail and catch the sounds and syntax of different regional accents, this is Alistair Cooke moving into his prime as a reporter and a writer. His prescient observations on what was happening and considerations on where America was headed provide a clearer understanding of a critical moment in world history just prior to the dropping of the Atomic bomb. This unique travelogue celebrates an important American character and the indomitable spirit of a nation that was to inspire Cooke's reports and broadcasts for some sixty years.
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About the Author

Alistair Cooke was born in Manchester in 1908 and educated at the universities of Cambridge, Yale and Harvard. Throughout his long career he worked as a journalist and broadcaster for many different organisations including the BBC, The Times and the Guardian, and won numerous awards for his work. He is best known both at home and abroad for his weekly Letters from America, far and away the longest-running radio series in broadcasting history. He died in March 2004, just a few weeks after his retirement. Letter from America, a definitive selection of the Letters, is published by Penguin.

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