Cooke is among the most familiar and admired of Englishmen living in America. Host of PBS-TV's Masterpiece Theatre, he contributes to other TV and radio shows, writes bestsellers (Alistair Cooke's America, etc.) and charms audiences as a guest speaker. This book contains 14 essays, addresses delivered before professional groups in the U.S. and England. Although respectful and even benign, Cooke's remarks can be scalpel sharp as he advises doctors (particularly psychiatrists) to avoid medical mumbo-jumbo and speak plainly to patients. But physicians aren't the only arcane addicts that the gentle, witty proselytizer urges to reform. The collection presents wordy obfuscations intoned by politicians, educators, writers, actors: would-be "communicators" in several fields. Cooke is always entertaining and provocative. His finale is a salute to both his native and adopted lands, "The American in England: Emerson to S. J. Perelman." Franklin Library First Edition selection.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Cooke plays the layman in this collection of speeches and he is witty, precise, and proud but ever-so-humble whether he is speaking his "Thoughts Coming Out of the Ether" before the Royal Colleges of Surgeons or explaining "How It All Ended" to the State Department. What's more, his words read as well as they probably were heard. Cooke comments on communication and the English language and admonishes us for hiding behind language "barnacled with jargon." He says to the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, "Maybe you can no more cure a naturally pompous person than you can reflower a virgin." "But, Cooke, we do it!" was the written reply from the University of Tokyo's gynecology department. So there is hope. The patient's prescription? "Rinse the mind free of verbal cant." Cooke can take the floor anytime he wants it. Jo Cates, Poynter Inst. for Media Studies Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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