Alvin Hall sets off on a roadtrip through the USA revisiting Cooke's Letter from America.
Letter from America was Alistair Cooke's weekly radio broadcast that ran continuously for 58 years on the BBC, from 1946 to 2004. The BBC will be making available the entire archive - over 900 programmes - on the Radio 4 website, from November 1st. Cooke had set himself a challenge that seemed deceptively simple: to explain the United States to Britain and the world. His Letters achieved that and more. He was an acute observer, a marvellous story teller, a man who loved America but saw it in intensely clear terms - a country that was both great and sometimes terribly flawed in its greatness.
All the major issues, all the significant stories were grist for his writer's mill. The Korean War and the Cold War, desegregation, the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, the fall of Nixon, the rise of Reaganomics, immigration, September 11 and the George W Bush presidency.