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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Reviews - Alistair Cooke: Letter From America and America

Alistair Cooke: Letter From America Alistair Cooke: America
Alistair Cooke
Letter From America 1946-2004 (3*)
America (4*)

I used to love Letter from America on Radio 4 at Sunday breakfast, and always said "Good Morning" before Alistair Cooke so it sounded as if he returned the greeting. But despite being intelligent, informative and beautifully phrased, the wordy and soft-focused style belies an intensity of detail. Perhaps these pieces are better heard, or dipped into rather than read all at once. (March 2016)

America is much easier. I acquired this soon after it came out to accompany a BBC television series in 1973, but never got round to reading it. Then someone borrowed and kept it. I now have another copy and what a super book it is. I skipped some of the stuff about the politics of the union, but the story of the explorers, settlers and entrepreneurs is riveting - with some incredible photographs too. (December 2016)

Key to star ratings: 5* would read over and over again, 4* enjoyed it a lot and would recommend, 3* enjoyable/interesting, 2* didn't enjoy, 1* gave up.

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