Letter from America by Alistair Cooke: The Reagan Years (1981-1988)-logo

Letter from America by Alistair Cooke: The Reagan Years (1981-1988)

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Ronald Reagan’s presidency, from Reagonomics and the invasion of Grenada in his first term, to the Iran-contra scandal and reconciliation with Soviet leader Mihail Gorbachev in his second. A fascinating social, cultural and political history of American life, through the words of British-American journalist and broadcaster, Alistair Cooke (1908 – 2004).

Location:

United States

Description:

Ronald Reagan’s presidency, from Reagonomics and the invasion of Grenada in his first term, to the Iran-contra scandal and reconciliation with Soviet leader Mihail Gorbachev in his second. A fascinating social, cultural and political history of American life, through the words of British-American journalist and broadcaster, Alistair Cooke (1908 – 2004).

Language:

English


Episodes
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Gorbachev's perilous experiment

12/9/1988
Misgivings over Gorbachev's liberalisation proposals as observers fear further splits from satellite 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.

Duration:00:14:10

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Yasser Arafat's speech at the UN, 1988

12/2/1988
Yasser Arafat's speech at the UN, the denial of his visa by US secretary of state George Schultz, and the view that Palestinians are moving towards reconciliation with Israel.

Duration:00:14:17

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Fears over US deficit

11/25/1988
The economy will be the first challenge facing the new president when his term starts in January. 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.

Duration:00:14:25

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A dirty campaign

11/18/1988
Slander and innuendo are nothing new in campaigning - but the rhetoric will soon be erased. 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.

Duration:00:13:50

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The 1988 presidential election

11/11/1988
An overview of the ballot paper in the 1988 presidential elections, George Bush's "inevitable" victory, and the issues that proved most important for voting Americans.We apologize for the abrupt end to this audio, this occurred when the episode was originally recorded for the archive.

Duration:00:14:00

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George H W Bush vs Michael Dukakis

11/4/1988
A review of George H W Bush and Michael Dukakis' presidential campaigns, key values and demographics, and predicted performances before the 1988 elections.

Duration:00:28:06

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The Bess Myerson trial begins

10/28/1988
The 1988 trial of Bess Myerson, the former Miss America and head of consumer affairs to New York City, accused of tax fraud and bribing a judge.

Duration:00:14:16

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Baseball and politics in 1988

10/21/1988
With the 1988 presidential race and World Series drawing to a close, Alistair Cooke looks at the baseball metaphors used by George H W Bush and Michael Dukakis in their campaigns.

Duration:00:13:52

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Testing public opinion

10/14/1988
Quavering Quale affects voters' views on choice for president. 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.

Duration:00:13:10

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1988 televised debates, and Thatcher in 1979

10/7/1988
The polished nature of the Bush/Dukakis debates, the 'American-style' of Margaret Thatcher's public relations in 1979, and Jimmy Carter's negative review of the 1988 campaign.

Duration:00:14:03

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Looking good on TV

9/30/1988
As the presidential candidates debate on TV, political prowess seems to be in the eye of the beholder. 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.

Duration:00:14:14

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Hurricane Gilbert

9/23/1988
The impact of Hurricane Gilbert on Jamaica and Central America, and the 1938 hurricane that destroyed a large part of the forests of New England, as discussed by Alistair Cooke.

Duration:00:14:01

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The Democratic outsider

9/16/1988
Jimmy Carter's rise to prominence of in 1976, and Michael Dukakis' struggle to establish a new and attractive identity for himself ahead of the 1988 presidential election.

Duration:00:13:43

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Yellowstone National Park, 1988

9/9/1988
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.

Duration:00:14:52

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Etiquette for presidential candidates and the heat wave of Summer 1988

9/2/1988
Remembering when presidential candidates only spoke about policy, and when Adlai Stephenson broke the rule. And could the hot summer be the result of greenhouse gases?

Duration:00:13:43

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Dan Quayle for vice president

8/26/1988
Alistair Cooke reflects on why George H W Bush may have chosen Dan Quayle as vice-presidential candidate, and the constitutional powers of the vice president's role.

Duration:00:27:45

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President Reagan’s final Republican Convention

8/19/1988
President Reagan gives his farewell address at the Republican convention in Kansas. A heat wave, drought and forest fires continue to cause problems across the US.

Duration:00:13:58

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Ed Koch, Mayor of New York

8/12/1988
A look at the problems faced by New York's mayor Ed Koch, his weekly interrogation by the public on TV and his attempts to fight drug use and keep New York's beaches clean.

Duration:00:13:40

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Day care and recreation

8/5/1988
As the 1988 election looms closer, day care becomes a prime issue. Alistair Cooke reflects on the unexpected success of the newspaper USA Today, founded in 1982.

Duration:00:13:31

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America's polluted waters

7/29/1988
Alistair Cooke reports on the polluted state of America's waters, coastline and lakes, its effect on the wildlife and the reactions of the public.

Duration:00:14:14