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Alistair Cooke offers a gallery of portraits and sketches of many of the people he has known, admired, or covered during his career. He provides stimulating and candid protraits of some of the most important people of the past and present.
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Alistair Cooke writes in the preface to this collection of 23 biographical sketches, "Most of these pieces tend to find, and rejoice in, what is best about their subjects." That is not to say that the distinguished British print and broadcast journalist (resident for many years in America) is starry-eyed about the men and women he profiles: George Bernard Shaw was a crank; Frank Lloyd Wright a prima donna; General George Marshall an appalling public speaker. Yet Cooke's smooth prose and keen insights explore the larger issues his subjects' stories raise and invite readers to appreciate the people who have made a difference. Franklin Roosevelt's visionary leadership was possible because of a gentleman's agreement with the press inconceivable today: they never printed a single photo of him in his wheelchair. FDR's vice president, John Nance Garner, was a Southern politico who understood only power and back-scratching: "There is one man left who is like him," Cooke wrote in 1967, "Lyndon Johnson"--cogently and simultaneously nailing LBJ's strength and weakness. Politicians and statesmen preponderate here (Cooke's Winston Churchill portrait is justly famous), but the author covers writers (P.G. Wodehouse, Robert Frost), performers (Gary Cooper, Duke Ellington), and columnists (James Reston, Erma Bombeck) with equal shrewdness. --Wendy SmithAbout the Author:
Alistair Cooke hosted PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre for twenty-two years and was known internationally for his weekly BBC broadcast “Letter from America.” He died in 2004.
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Book Description Pavilion Books, 2000. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1862054525