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Alistair Cooke's America DVD

Listed In Category: Entertainment > DVDs
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Asking Price $ 34.00 $ 32.00 USD per item
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Renewed Date10-Dec-2017 01:09:02 PM EST
Expiration Date 08-Feb-2018 01:09:02 PM EST
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Iwanttobelieve member since 14-sep-2008
View Tucson Classifieds Tucson, Arizona, USA
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  Aliestair Cookes America - For everyone interested in trying to understand the u.s.a.

This 13 part series comes on 4 dvd in a case with artwork.


All dvds are guaranteed and ship within 24 hours of payment clearing.

Presented by Alistair Cooke - the man who inspired Ken Burns.

1-The First Impact
2-The New Found Land
3-Home From Home
4-Making A Revolution
5-Inventing A Nation
6-Gone West
7-A Firebell In The Night
8-Domesticating A Wilderness
9-Money On The Land
10-The Huddled Masses
11-The Promise Fulfilled & The Promise Broken
13-The More Abundant Life
Further info:
Through his BBC Radio series, Letters From America, Alistair Cooke reported on every aspect of life in the United States for over 50 years. In 1972 he wrote and presented Alistair Cooke's America, his critically acclaimed TV series, which became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, generated a best-selling book and earned Cooke an invitation to make the principal address during the bicentennial celebrations of the First Continental Congress in 1974. Cooke died in March 2004, just a month after his last-ever letter from America.
The early success of the authored documentary as a TV phenomena was built on three key productions: Kenneth Clark's Civilisation (BBC, 1969), Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man (BBC, 1973) and Alistair Cooke's America (BBC, 1972), all directed by Michael Gill. And of these three highly personalised programmes, America is the one that proclaims itself loudest as the sole vision of a single man. Right from the start, the veteran broadcaster and journalist sets out to make it clear that his series is a very individual examination of his adopted country. The inaugural programme, 'The First Impact', offers an intimate account of his passion for America and its effect on his life.
Lancashire-born Cooke, best known for his Letter From America broadcasts for BBC radio (1946-2004), was equally adept at television, where his distinctive voice and imposing screen presence brought authority to the medium. However, an underlying conservatism makes the series seem rather old-fashioned at times, although there is no denying the presenter's emotional involvement with his subject. Cooke's deliberations on the America Civil War and slavery are as frank as they are moving, as is his description of the dispossession of native Americans by European settlers.
His views on America's industrialisation, the development of mass culture and the nation's move towards being a global military power, on the other hand, are less satisfying. A modern commentator, and certainly one less in love with his subject, would almost certainly serve up a more critical analysis of contemporary American history, although to his credit Cooke never set out to be an unbiased observer; he always acknowledged his perspective was a highly personal one.
The series unfortunately ends rather weakly. The final episode, 'The More Abundant Life, compares contemporary America in the early 1970s with the aims and objectives of the first European settlers, although there appears little rationale for doing this. The implication that America had, in effect, a year zero undermines Cooke's cogent attempts over previous weeks to create a vision of the nation as a living, breathing, evolving entity with deeply tangled roots.
Inevitably, Cooke's efforts at interpreting America for a British audience say as much about the broadcaster himself as his subject matter, especially his discussions of post-war events - a period he personally experienced. America is, however, a landmark series and its undoubted success helped cement the future of the authored documentary.