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Memories of the Great and the Good

Cooke, Alistair

ISBN 10: 1559704799 / ISBN 13: 9781559704793
Published by Arcade Publishing, 1999
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
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1559704799 Chapters on Churchill, Eisenhower, Reagan, FDR, Eleaore Roosevelt, Shaw, Frost, Frank Lloyd Wright, Wodehouse, Duke Ellington, etc. Bookseller Inventory # 004077

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Memories of the Great and the Good

Publisher: Arcade Publishing

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Slightly Chipped

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Deploring the current fashion for psycho-biographies, not to mention porno-biographies, of the famous, Alistair Cooke offers celebrations of people he has met during his sixty years of journalism, people he calls the Great or the Good, people who, he believes, have left the world a better or more interesting place.

Here are memories of a weekend with Dwight D. Eisenhower, an afternoon with P. G. Wodehouse, another with Duke Ellington, several nightcaps with Jelly Roll Morton, and recollections of Erma Bombeck, Nobel Prize winner Barbara McClintock, former House Speaker Tip O'Neill, producer George Abbott, global yachtsman Francis Chichester, presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, and George Bernard Shaw; along with longer portraits of Churchill, Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and golf great Bobby Jones.

Review:

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 Smith

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