Letter From America By Alistair Cooke: The Early Years (1940s, 1950s And 1960s)



The assassination of JFK through to Vietnam and Americas shame at the My Lai massacre. Alistair Cooke's fascinating social, cultural and political history of American life.


  • Bobby Kennedy's assassination, 1968

    09/06/1968 Duração: 13min

    An eyewitness account of the assassination of Bobby Kennedy on June 5, 1968 in Los Angeles, and the collective-guilt aftermath for America.

  • 1000th letter - American reactions to Vietnam, 1968

    24/03/1968 Duração: 14min

    The national mood begins to change over the Vietnam war - how America began to move from early indifference to the recognition of a nightmare.

  • Christmas 1967

    24/12/1967 Duração: 13min

    Senator Jacob Javits' parking fine, Mayor Lindsay and the water commissioner, and a President Truman Christmas story.

  • Honeymoon with President Johnson, 1966

    21/08/1966 Duração: 14min

    Democracy demonstrated - how the President of the United States had to make way for Mr Meyer Sugarman's wedding night.

  • The LA Watts riots, 1965

    22/08/1965 Duração: 14min

    The Watts riots in Los Angeles - were they an uprising by black Americans angry at their treatment or simply criminally motivated looting and violence?

  • Clay vs Liston Fight

    30/05/1965 Duração: 13min

    How the debacle of the Cassius Clay–Sonny Liston boxing prize fight tarnished one of the elements of American culture - sportsmanship

  • President Johnson's inauguration, 1965

    17/01/1965 Duração: 13min

    President Lyndon B Johnson's inauguration for his own full first term, and some earlier notable inaugurations, including Washington and Jefferson's.

  • Assassination of J F Kennedy, 1963

    24/11/1963 Duração: 14min

    The assassination of John F Kennedy, the first president of the television age, and the style, grace and fun he brought to the White House.

  • Big brains

    21/01/1962 Duração: 13min

    How New York construction was brought to a halt by the Electrician's Union strike, and why the computer or 'the big brain' will soon change how people work.

  • 500th letter

    08/09/1957 Duração: 15min

    Alistair Cooke remembers Lindsay Wellington, the BBC head who came up with the idea of weekly letters to help people in the UK understand American life in 1946.

  • William Kapell (1922-1953)

    05/11/1953 Duração: 13min

    A tribute to American Pianist William Kappell, the best pianist of his generation, and what music means to Americans.

  • Television in America, 1951

    19/01/1951 Duração: 13min

    How a new daily diet of television in America is changing people's lives, as reported by Alistair Cooke.

  • A fragment from 1947

    12/01/1947 Duração: 04min

    A fragment preserved from Cooke's talk, reflecting on the importance of democratic capitalism and a free economy to Americans.