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The American Home Front: 1941-1942

 
9781423321156: The American Home Front: 1941-1942
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In nearly three thousand BBC broadcasts over fifty-eight years, Alistair Cooke reported on America, revealing our country’s complexities and idiosyncrasies to a global audience. He was one of the most widely read and widely heard chroniclers of America - the Twentieth Century’s de Tocqueville. Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Alistair Cooke, a newly naturalized American citizen, set out to see his country as it was undergoing monumental change. He wanted to “see what the war had done to people, to the towns I might go through, to some jobs and crops, to stretches of landscape I loved and had seen at peace.” Working throughout the war, Cooke finished The American Home Front as the atomic bomb was being dropped on Hiroshima. His publisher thought there would be little interest in books on the war, so it was stuffed in a closet. It stayed there for almost sixty years, nearly forgotten, until it was unearthed shortly before Cooke’s death in 2004. The American Home Front is a fascinating artifact, a charming travelogue, and a sharp portrait that shows America changing from civilian pursuits to military engagement, from the production of consumer goods to materials of war. It is also a unique record of American life. Cooke travels small highways, with their advertising signs and their local typography, in an age before the interstate highway system. He chronicles the regional glories he encounters, elements of long-lost culture such as his beloved soda fountains, and the reactions of the citizens, from indifference to grief, from opportunism to resilience under military threat. Filled with touching personal stories of the effects of war, from a Japanese family facing internment that tries to sell Cooke their car, to the experiences of the unemployed relocating in hopes of jobs in a gunpowder factory, The American Home Front is the work of an experienced, talented journalist; it is intelligent, touching, and funny.

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About the Author:
Born in England and educated at Cambridge, Yale, and Harvard, Alistar Cooke (1908-2004) became a U.S. citizen in 1941. He was awarded an honorary knighthood in 1973 and delivered the keynote address before both houses of Congress at the bicentennial celebrations in 1976. Cooke lived and worked in an apartment overlooking Central Park, where he raised his family and lived with his wife, Jane White, until his death.
From Booklist:
Composed during World War II for British readers, whom the late cultural commentator Cooke felt had heard "rather too much of Washington and New York," this travelogue of America was never published--until now; it proves an interesting eyewitness record on several levels. It recalls transcontinental travel in the pre-interstate highway era, and with greater depth, social problems that Cooke detected beneath the win-the-war exhortations he encountered from coast to coast. Driving out of Washington in February 1942, Cooke headed south, observing the Jim Crow regime en route to Gulf Coast ports bursting with military construction and a housing crisis. He then took a train to California, where he was disgusted by the internment of Japanese Americans, then in full swing. Circling back east in a car via Seattle, Denver, Kansas City, Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the Great Lakes cities, Cooke discovered their war industries and ethnographic compositions. Perceptive about the moment, prescient about postwar possibilities, Cooke's tour makes for profitable reading. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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  • PublisherBrilliance Audio
  • Publication date2006
  • ISBN 10 1423321154
  • ISBN 13 9781423321156
  • BindingAudio CD
  • Number of pages11
  • Rating

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9780871139399: The American Home Front: 1941-1942

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ISBN 10:  0871139391 ISBN 13:  9780871139399
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006
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  • 9780802143327: The American Home Front: 1941-1942

    Grove ..., 2007
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