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Letter from America Podcast by Alistair Cooke

Letter from America Podcast

Alistair Cooke's Letter from America Rediscovered

by Alistair Cooke

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Highlights from lost recordings from the 1970 and 80s.


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http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02p8jsc

The 1970s

Author: BBC Radio 4
Sun, Mar 30, 2014


1970s America rediscovered through lost recordings of Letter from America, on the 10th anniversary of legendary journalist Alistair Cooke's death. Paddy O'Connell and guests including historian Dominic Sandbrook, Alvin Hall, Ann Treneman and Naomi Shragai will reflect on the personalities and stories of 70s America - from Nixon's resignation, Muhammad Ali to Vietnam and women's lib. The Letter from America programmes featured were taped by two listeners and stored in a cellar, an attic and a fertiliser spreader for nearly 40 years. They were recorded by a dairy farmer from the Cotswolds, and a man from Cornwall, who between them have provided the BBC with over 650 lost Letter from America programmes from the 1970s and 1980s. Music chosen: Alvin Hall - Stevie Wonder, Sir Duke Ann Treneman - Bob Dylan, Forever Young David Henderson - Don Mclean, Colour TV Blues Naomi Shragai - Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run. Presenter: Paddy O'Connell Producer: Zillah Watson.

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Soviets need soap, December 1989

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Dec 08, 1989


Give the Communist masses what they really want - a delivery of consumerism. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Yellowstone National Park, 1988

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Sep 09, 1988


Too strange to be believed, the natural phenomena that prompted the founding of the US national parks. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Nancy Reagan's astrologer, 1988

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, May 27, 1988


Former White House aide Donald Regan makes public the First Lady's intrusion on policy and appointments. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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The Augusta National, 1988

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Apr 15, 1988


Enjoying a different pace of life at the Augusta National, a Georgia Shangri-La. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Papal visit, September 1987

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Sep 11, 1987


Papal visit crosses the entire continent to face all manner of religious problems from some 52 million US Catholics. The sound quality on this recording is variable/poor. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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The national anthem, 1986

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Jul 18, 1986


America's national anthem was chosen just over 50 years ago - is it time to salute to a new tune? This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Fred Astaire, 1987

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Jun 26, 1987


Small in stature, a giant on the screen - an appreciation of the life and work of Fred Astaire. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Voters believe Reagan lied, December 1986

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Dec 12, 1986


Reagan describes press as 'sharks' while polls show Americans changing attitudes towards White House. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Sounding American, 1986

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Jun 27, 1986


An expert opinion on why Americans can't sound English - and the English can't sound American. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Yakima Canutt, 1986

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, May 30, 1986


In praise of the little-known name behind the thrilling stunts of many big-name movie stars. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Loans warning on economy, January 1986

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Jan 24, 1986


International debt is threatening the stability of the world economy, warns MIT expert. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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The computer age, 1985

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Nov 29, 1985


Computers are changing the way we live - but can they work out how we can live together? This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Limousine envy, 1985

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Oct 25, 1985


Spectacle of world leaders competing for limo one-upmanship sums up the problem of the United Nations. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Summer's end, September 1985

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Sep 13, 1985


End of summer sees the holiday cottages empty and normal life resume in the coastal towns. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Simpler taxes suggested by president, 1985

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, May 31, 1985


President Reagan's plan to make the tax structure simpler hits the right note across the US. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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James Mason remembered, 1984

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Aug 10, 1984


Remembering James Mason, the character actor who wouldn't play the Hollywood game. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Beware stereotypes, 1984

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Jun 01, 1984


Latest national statistics prove that basing our assumptions on stereotypes will inevitably prove us wrong. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Smiley Ratliff's escape bid, 1984

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Mar 09, 1984


British government foils attempt by US millionaire Smiley Ratliff to buy his own Pacific island. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Chernenko is Soviet leader, 1984

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Feb 17, 1984


New Soviet leader Chernenko described as in poor health even as he assumes office. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Joe Polowsky's funeral, 1983

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Dec 02, 1983


Old soldier wanted to be buried where his band of brothers met up with the Russians in 1945 - when they were our allies. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Fear of appeasement, 1983

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Feb 04, 1983


Fears of a return to 'Munich mentality' block genuine talk on arms control. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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The Dull Men's Club, 1982

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Dec 24, 1982


Forget chic or trendy, the founder of the Dull Men's Club says we should be proud of being boring. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Vietnam veterans' memorial, 1982

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Nov 12, 1982


Washington opening of new memorial which speaks volumes about the war America did not win. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Roosevelt 100th anniversary, 1982

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Feb 05, 1982


White House lunch celebrates Roosevelt's centenary - as Reaganomics removes his legacy. The sound quality on this recording is variable/poor. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Illegal immigration, 1981

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Sep 25, 1981


Presidents of US and Mexico to discuss growing problem of illegal immigrants. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Remembering Jack Thum, 1981

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, May 01, 1981


Mickey Rooney plays part of professional clown Jack Thum in a TV special about the man who spent a lifetime helping poor children. The sound quality on this recording is variable/poor. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Reagan budget-cutting campaign, 1981

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Apr 24, 1981


Research programmes face cuts as President Reagan's money-saving campaign bites. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Columbia space shuttle, 1981

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Apr 17, 1981


Boost for US as Columbia space shuttle makes first landing back on earth. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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A meeting of minds, 1981

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Feb 20, 1981


Two leaders who share a common belief in their economic plans - but Mrs Thatcher's hopes are already moderating. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Reagan chooses cabinet, 1981

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Jan 09, 1981


Reagan's choice of a wealthy cabinet means a slow start for the new administration. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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The World Series gets the vote, 1980

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Oct 17, 1980


The World Series gets the popular vote while the presidential candidates get mean with each other. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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John Wayne obituary, 1979

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Jun 15, 1979


Remembering John Wayne, the actor who came to stand for something fundamentally good - and American. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Muhammad Ali, September 1978

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Sep 22, 1978


Muhammad Ali on Dick Cavett show September 1978. Rising popularity of Edward Kennedy. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Ten years after Tet, February 1978

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Feb 24, 1978


Ten years after Tet offensive. US public opinion shifts over foreign affairs. Muhammed Ali defeated as reigning world heavyweight boxing champion by Leon Spinks. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Death of Elvis, August 1977

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Aug 19, 1977


Death of Elvis. Carter's move away from liberal promises. Disquiet among black voters about Carter. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Frost/Nixon TV interviews, May 1977

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, May 06, 1977


Frost/Nixon TV interviews. Compulsive viewing for massive US and UK audiences. Reveal Nixon's human failings. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Carter Playboy interview, September 1976

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Sep 24, 1976


Carter Playboy interview. Public reaction to Carter's 'adultery in my heart' admission. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Patty Hearst arrest, 1975

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Sep 26, 1975


Patty Hearst arrest. Media speculation about Hearst. Assassination attempts on President Ford by Squeaky Fromme and Sara Moore. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Tax exiles, July 1975

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Jul 04, 1975


Noel Coward, Sean Connery, Tony Jacklin - why stars of stage, screen and sport have to become tax exiles. And how golfer Tom Watson avoided being struck by lightning. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Women's Lib, 1975

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Mar 21, 1975


Equal Rights amendment to the US constitution causes splits in both women's and men's liberation groups. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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Nixon's resignation speech, August 1974

Author: BBC Radio 4
Fri, Aug 16, 1974


Disgraced President Nixon resigns. His resignation speech does not contain any sort of apology for his misconduct. This archive edition of Letter from America was recorded by one of two listeners, who between them taped and labelled over 650 Letter From America programmes from 1973 to 1989. It was restored by the BBC in 2014.

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