Joan Stocker, 18, was fed up. She and her husband, a U.S. Air Force sergeant, had been living in England for several months and boarding with English families. One day, from Newmarket in Suffolk, she sent a sizzling letter to her hometown paper, the Palo Alto (Calif.) Times. "We are writing," she said, "to let you people back home know just what is going on in the minds of the English . . . They believe [Americans] all have big houses, strings of cars, closets full of clothes and more money than we know what to do with. They...

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