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Throughout, Cooke interweaves anecdotes and digressions into the main narrative, charming the viewer with his storytelling precisely in the manner so beloved of listeners to his admirable Letter from America. By the end he has a warning that, although delivered in 1973, remains as telling today as it did then: America, like Ancient Rome as depicted by Gibbon in his Decline and Fall, stands poised between its remarkable vitality and its equally remarkable capacity for decadence. Whether, like Rome, the USA becomes a victim of its own internal divisions or somehow manages to pull back from the brink still remains to be seen.
On the DVD: This four-disc set is neatly presented in digipack format, and includes a Pebble Mill at One interview with Cooke in which he discusses the series. --Mark Walker
Not as detailed a historical analysis as Ken Burns' later films but an interesting and informative look at America through the astute eyes of Alistair Cooke. Read morePublished 24 days ago by UK Scribe
From the days when the BBC could make documentaries without drowning out all speech with irrelevant 'music'Published 6 months ago by mrs catherine letchford
Interesting and nostalgic.
Alistair Cooke is like a ghost cominfg back to me from my youth.
Insightful and intelligent documentary making in the classic style.
Another outstanding story beautifully told as only Alistair Cooke can do it with balance and fairness. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mina Bowater