The Americans: Fifty Talks on Our Life and Times by Alistair Cooke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In one of these essays Cooke remarks on the difference between being alive during certain events and actually living through them: I found myself remarking on this difference as I read about Watergate, the death of Bing Crosby, the porn wars in the Supreme Court and other events I'd been alive for (and some I remembered reading about and talking about when I was younger). The thing is, that the ten years that this book covers (1969-1979) are the ten years in which I slowly wakened to the world around me. The only external memory I have of the events of 1969 were the Mets winning the series (I do remember the '68 Democratic Convention, but barely), which he doesn't cover, while by his 1979 essays I was saying "oh yes, I remember that".
Sadly, some of his commentary still rings true, particularly the bits about politics, politicians and day-to-day life. These essays were a great way to reacquaint myself with the recent past.
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