When Alistair Cooke retired in March 2004 and then died a few weeks later, he was acclaimed by many as one of the greatest broadcasters of all time. His Letters from America, which began in 1946 and continued uninterrupted every week until early 2004, kept the world in touch with what was happening in Cooke's wry, liberal and humane style. This selection, made largely by Cooke himself and supplemented by his literary executor, gives us the very best of these legendary broadcasts. Over half have never appeared in print before. It is a remarkable portrait of a continent - and a man.
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.