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The American Home Front: 1941-1942

by

The American Home Front: 1941-1942 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the famous BBC correspondent and television host comes a remarkably insightful and detailed firsthand portrait of America during the early days of World War II.

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, 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; and to let significance fall where it might." Working throughout the war, Cooke finished the manuscript for The American Home Front as the atomic bomb was being dropped on Hiroshima. His publisher at the time thought there would be little interest in books on the war, and 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.

The American Home Front is "a celebration of the American character and a fitting testament to a fine journalist" (The Bookseller (UK)). It is a fascinating artifact, a charming travelogue, and a sharp portrait that shows a nation switching 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 topography, 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.

Review:

"Late in the winter of 1942, a young journalist named Alistair Cooke 'drove out of Washington with five re-treaded tires' and began a journey around the United States. He was a correspondent for the British Broadcasting Corp. who the previous year had become a U.S. citizen, but he was still far better known in his native England. The great fame he enjoyed in the last several decades of his long life... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"The author came to the States from England in 1946 to establish what has since become the longest running commentary in radio history. His delightful Letters From America were broadcast by BBC and therefore heard only by a most appreciative and loyal British audience. Fifty of his best talks have now happily been made available to us in print, and we are able, for the first time, to enjoy his charm and his wit as he discourses on our foibles and our folkways." Reviewed by Chris Gavaler, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)

Review:

"[A]n interesting eyewitness record on several levels....Perceptive about the moment, prescient about postwar possibilities, Cooke's tour makes for profitable reading." Booklist

Review:

"Revealing portrait of America in the early years of WWII....A vivid, endlessly interesting view of the home front." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Mr. Cooke brings to life an America stepping into the unknown....[A] revelation....In addition to being a broadcaster, Mr. Cooke was a print reporter, and a superb one, with a sharp, skeptical eye and a stylish pen. Both are on brilliant display here." William Grimes, The New York Times

Review:

"The American Home Front doesn't really alter our understanding of what things were like then, but it is, in effect, a letter from the front lines, and the immediacy of it is real and valuable." Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"[E]ngaging and insightful....The prose is, in the best sense of the word, polished — novelists should be as gifted as Cooke at capturing the beauties of nature — with striking, even elegant, metaphors and similes." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Cooke's skill is especially apparent when he...offers an outsider's keen perception of America....Since his focus on the anxious early war years is inherently narrow, this volume may work better as a deftly constructed time capsule than as history." Library Journal

Synopsis:

From the famous BBC correspondent and television host comes a remarkably insightful and detailed firsthand portrait of America during the early days of World War II. 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. Cooke traveled small highways, with their advertising signs and their local topography, in an age before the interstate highway system.

In The American Home Front — a fascinating artifact, a charming travelogue, and a sharp portrait of America — Cooke chronicles the regional glories he encounters and the reactions of the citizens to war, 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.

Synopsis:

Unearthed shortly before Cookes death, this unique record of American life shows a nation switching from civilian pursuits to military engagement, and from the production of consumer goods to materials of war.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780871139399
Author:
Cooke, Alistair
Publisher:
Atlantic Monthly Press
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - 20th Century/WWII
Subject:
HISTORY / Military / World War II
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
May 2006
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 21.5 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » US History » 1920 to 1960
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

The American Home Front: 1941-1942 Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Atlantic Monthly Press - English 9780871139399 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A]n interesting eyewitness record on several levels....Perceptive about the moment, prescient about postwar possibilities, Cooke's tour makes for profitable reading."
"Review" by , "Revealing portrait of America in the early years of WWII....A vivid, endlessly interesting view of the home front."
"Review" by , "Mr. Cooke brings to life an America stepping into the unknown....[A] revelation....In addition to being a broadcaster, Mr. Cooke was a print reporter, and a superb one, with a sharp, skeptical eye and a stylish pen. Both are on brilliant display here."
"Review" by , "The American Home Front doesn't really alter our understanding of what things were like then, but it is, in effect, a letter from the front lines, and the immediacy of it is real and valuable."
"Review" by , "[E]ngaging and insightful....The prose is, in the best sense of the word, polished — novelists should be as gifted as Cooke at capturing the beauties of nature — with striking, even elegant, metaphors and similes."
"Review" by , "Cooke's skill is especially apparent when he...offers an outsider's keen perception of America....Since his focus on the anxious early war years is inherently narrow, this volume may work better as a deftly constructed time capsule than as history."
"Synopsis" by ,
From the famous BBC correspondent and television host comes a remarkably insightful and detailed firsthand portrait of America during the early days of World War II. 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. Cooke traveled small highways, with their advertising signs and their local topography, in an age before the interstate highway system.

In The American Home Front — a fascinating artifact, a charming travelogue, and a sharp portrait of America — Cooke chronicles the regional glories he encounters and the reactions of the citizens to war, 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.

"Synopsis" by , Unearthed shortly before Cookes death, this unique record of American life shows a nation switching from civilian pursuits to military engagement, and from the production of consumer goods to materials of war.
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