Books: Touchstones

ALISTAIR COOKE'S AMERICA by ALISTAIR COOKE 400 pages. Knopf. $15.

Alistair Cooke is an amiable and intelligent Englishman whose journalistic duties require him to explain to the Old World the behavior of Americans. He is also one of those Europeans who, to the utter astonishment of the natives, seem to like the U.S. very much.

This book, a beautifully illustrated historical sketch of the U.S., was made from materials gathered for his much praised 13-part TV series done for the BBC and Time-Life Films: America: A Personal History of the United States. The...

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