Letter from America by Alistair Cooke: The Clinton Years (1997-2000) Podcast
English, Political, 1 seasons, 208 episodes, 2 days 2 minutes
Letter from America by Alistair Cooke: The Clinton Years (1997-2000) Podcast
English, Political, 1 seasons, 208 episodes, 2 days 2 minutes
Alistair Cooke on Bill Clinton’s second term including Monica Lewinsky scandal, the attempt to impeach him, the al-Qaeda attack on US embassies in east Africa and war in Kosovo.
President Jiang in America
Chinese President Jiang's 1997 visit to America to meet President Clinton, the dangers of a strong Chinese economy, and Saddam Hussein's threat to shoot down planes over Iraq.
02/08/2023 • 14 minutes
America is Back to Normal
Alistair Cooke discusses the reality of wind chill, questionnaires for appointing cabinet officers and the secrets to old age.
29/12/2000 • 13 minutes 26 seconds
How Wrong We've Been, from Madison to Roosevelt
Alistair Cooke explains how America was able to wait patiently for the confirmation of their new president, George Bush.
22/12/2000 • 12 minutes 54 seconds
An Embarrassing Relic of Authoritarianism
Alistair Cooke contemplates the pros and cons of democracy and the role of America's Electoral College.
15/12/2000 • 13 minutes 30 seconds
Bedazzled and Bewildered
Alistair Cooke asks whether the doubts about the result of the Florida vote are paralysing America's government.
08/12/2000 • 13 minutes 51 seconds
It's a Nine Ring Circus and You'll Never be Bored
Alistair Cooke examines the voting irregularities of 1876 and applies the lessons learned from them to the current electoral crisis in Florida.
01/12/2000 • 13 minutes 30 seconds
The Origin of the Continental Blow Out
Alistair Cooke looks at the origins of Thanksgiving and seasonal trends in food.
24/11/2000 • 13 minutes 31 seconds
The Florida re-count, 2000
The various legal issues underlying the failure to elect either George W Bush or Al Gore as president are explained by Alistair Cooke.
17/11/2000 • 13 minutes 33 seconds
Paralysis by Analysis
Given the closeness of the recent election, Alistair Cooke asks what sort of mandate the next President will really possess.
10/11/2000 • 12 minutes 49 seconds
The Day of Judgement
Democrat or Republican? Gore or Bush? Who will be the next President? Alistair Cooke reviews the two candidates.
03/11/2000 • 13 minutes 34 seconds
Suffocating in an Ocean of Advertising
Alistair Cooke looks forward with pleasure to the Presidential election and an end to wall-to-wall lobbying and advertising.
27/10/2000 • 13 minutes 40 seconds
A Supreme Diarist
Alistair Cooke celebrates the life and work of diarist James Agate and contemplates how he would have approached the pressing issues of the modern world. .
20/10/2000 • 13 minutes 31 seconds
The World's Tumult and the Price of a Barrel of Oil
Alistair Cook considers two conflicts - the rioting in Jerusalem and the revolution in Belgrade.
13/10/2000 • 13 minutes 23 seconds
There He Goes Again
With a presidential election a month or so away, Alistair Cook ponders the history of the American presidential debates.
06/10/2000 • 13 minutes 38 seconds
A Vague Beast Called Big Oil
Whilst the rising price of gasoline (or petrol to the European listener) is casusing a problem across both Europe and the US, Alistair Cooke considers who, if anyone, is really to blame for this big oil situation.
29/09/2000 • 13 minutes 58 seconds
Just the Facts, Ma'am
In the midst of the reporting from the Sydney Olympic Games, Alistair Cooke is surprised by an article detailing the legal status of prostitution in Australia. Whilst reviewing the article he reflects on the eternal struggle between political idealism and reality.
22/09/2000 • 13 minutes 33 seconds
Trouble with the English Language
In the run up to the presidential election Alistair Cooke considers the affect of the poll ratings, Governor Bush's language gaffs and personality contests.
15/09/2000 • 13 minutes 21 seconds
Doing What Comes Naturally
Alistair Cooke examines the lengths athletes go to for sporting success and reflects on the history of bodily enhancement through drugs, hormones and exercise techniques.
08/09/2000 • 13 minutes 25 seconds
Father, God, Undefined
Alistair Cooke considers the American passion for trusting in God and how religion is linked to the American constitutional rights.
01/09/2000 • 12 minutes 34 seconds
Russia: The Victim of Democracy
Alistair Cooke considers the tragic sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk and what public reaction in Russia has revealed about the government's relationship with it's people.
25/08/2000 • 13 minutes 32 seconds
Mother Nature's Wild Fires
Alistair Cooke talks about the colossal forest fires raging across the United States and explains how they've started to become an issue of political partisanship.
18/08/2000 • 13 minutes 55 seconds
Running Mates and Carpet Baggers
Alistair Cooke explains the origins of the American political phrases "carpet bagger" and "running mate" as well as the role of the vice president.
11/08/2000 • 13 minutes 37 seconds
From Exciting Horserace to Exhibition Trot
Alistair Cooke considers the outdated presidential nominating conventions and remembers the dramatic evenings of the longest ballot in US history.
04/08/2000 • 13 minutes 51 seconds
From Party Convention to Coronation
On the eve of the political parties choosing a nominee for the presidency of the United States, Alistair Cooke remembers some previous party conventions.
28/07/2000 • 12 minutes 54 seconds
Ghostly Applause for a News Blackout
Alistair Cooke evaluates the effect of the news blackouts surrounding the Israel and Palestinian peace talks and reflects on their joint history and turbulent relationship.
21/07/2000 • 12 minutes 54 seconds
Now Read On...
Alistair Cooke remembers George Gallup, the man whose scientific polling method changed the study of government and public opinion forever.
14/07/2000 • 13 minutes 23 seconds
Where Have all the Answers Gone?
Alistair Cooke bends his alphabet into a metaphysical helix in order to gain an understanding of the human genome.
07/07/2000 • 13 minutes 55 seconds
Pursuing a Will-o-the-wisp
On the 50th anniversary of the United Nation's Korean War Alistair Cooke remembers the conflict that was often called the "forgotten war", including how the veto clause was written into the UN charter.
30/06/2000 • 13 minutes 46 seconds
This Great Festival of Consumerism
Alistair Cooke ponders on how long the ordinary American family has been paying attention to Father's Day and is worried by the great festival of consumerism.
23/06/2000 • 13 minutes 41 seconds
A Wonderful Work or a Rat Trap?
In light of a new vedict surrounding the visiting rights of grandparents, Alistair Cooke reflects on the pace at which the Supreme Court makes its decisions.
16/06/2000 • 13 minutes 19 seconds
Polishing up his Escutcheon
Alistair Cooke reflects on how President Clinton is polishing up his political legacy with his recent Chinese and Russian treaty summits.
09/06/2000 • 13 minutes 3 seconds
Diet, Longevity and a Custard Pie
Alistair Cooke reflects on the beginning of the national obsession with cholesterol and the scientific study which proved eating too much meat is bad for you.
02/06/2000 • 13 minutes 48 seconds
A Giant Step for Womankind
If the mother of invention is necessity, then Alistair Cooke reflects that the father is resistance. In the light of unions disagreeing to trade with China, he reflects that all inventions meet with resistance at first...including dishwashers.
26/05/2000 • 13 minutes 55 seconds
Historic Turning Points
After a shock announcement from New York City Mayor Giuliani, Alistair Cooke considers when the taboo of writing about the private life of prominent politicians was lifted.
19/05/2000 • 13 minutes 45 seconds
The China Bill and other Kickshaws
Whilst the House of Representatives vote on granting China permanent trading privileges, Alistair Cooke considers San Francisco's law against sizeism.
12/05/2000 • 13 minutes 48 seconds
The Outrageous David Merrick
The life and times of a colourful character in American theatre - David Merrick - are remembered by Alistair Cooke.
05/05/2000 • 13 minutes 39 seconds
A Sordid Struggle
Alistair Cooke examines the legal battle to declare six year old Cuban Elian Gonzalez eligible for permanent asylum in the US and the political ramifications of the case.
28/04/2000 • 14 minutes 13 seconds
Cycle of Boom and Bust
After the New York stock exchange plunges more than 600 points, periods of boom and bust are remembered by Alistair Cook.
21/04/2000 • 13 minutes 52 seconds
The Year of the Census
Alistair Cooke examines whether questions on the US census invade individuals' privacy and explores the uses of private information.
While technology stocks are puzzling financial experts, Alistair Cook wonders what alternative sources will be found to create energy.
07/04/2000 • 13 minutes 34 seconds
The Most Significant Event of Recent Times
Alistair Cooke considers the ramifications of the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power station and the Pope's apology for the Catholic Church's sins against unbelievers.
31/03/2000 • 13 minutes 18 seconds
A National Figure of Charm and Pity
Alistair Cooke discusses the case of 6 year old Cuban Elian Gonzalez, the sole survivor of a group of would-be illegal immigrants whose boat capsized off the Florida coast.
24/03/2000 • 13 minutes 41 seconds
Buying Judges and Acquiring a Patron Saint
Recalling a misleading first impression of America, Alistair Cook examines St. Patrick's Day celebrations and the influence of Irish immigrants on the Democratic Party.
17/03/2000 • 13 minutes 11 seconds
A Brief Joust and Tumble with Sir Galahad
Alistair Cook looks at the rise and fall of Senator John McCain - briefly a challenger to George W Bush to be the Republican party's candidate in the forthcoming election.
10/03/2000 • 13 minutes 50 seconds
Double diplomatic turmoil
America's tricky relationship with Taiwan is under the spotlight as the country enrages China by ordering $6bn of warships from the US.
03/03/2000 • 13 minutes 3 seconds
Alistair Cook considers how a meeting of Opec and the price of oil may ultimately affect the future of the US more than Republican primaries.
25/02/2000 • 13 minutes 5 seconds
Charles Schulz: A Great and Good Man
Alistair Cooke commemorates the life of Charles Schultz, the creator of the comic strip characters Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Woodstock.
18/02/2000 • 14 minutes 10 seconds
Fickle Crushes and Volatile Markets
Considering America's financial situation, Alistair Cook remembers a forgotten lesson: the folly of economic prophecy.
11/02/2000 • 12 minutes 59 seconds
Reflecting on the history of how political parties choose their candidates, Alistair Cook finds that the conventions have become coronations, and hails the power of the primary.
04/02/2000 • 14 minutes 7 seconds
A Gentleman but not a Scholar
Following North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms's scolding lecture to the United Nations, Alistair Cook reviews how his message was received.
28/01/2000 • 14 minutes 22 seconds
What are Animals put on Earth For?
Upon finding that "Fur is back" Alistair Cook reasons America's climate is the reason it never actually went away.
21/01/2000 • 13 minutes 46 seconds
The Death of the Old Media
Alistair Cook takes in the story of Rip Van Winkle as he tries (and fails) to make sense of the multi-million dollar tie up between Time Warner and America Online.
14/01/2000 • 13 minutes 13 seconds
A Breathtaking Global Tour and a Resignation
Alistair Cook discusses the global televised countdown to the millennium; Russian president Boris Yeltsin's resignation, and the audacity of Mr Putin in praising the Soviet secret police.
07/01/2000 • 14 minutes 22 seconds
On Y2K Alert
Alistair Cooke discusses the precautions being taken by the US government to minimise the potential damage to the banking and administration services from the millennium bug.
31/12/1999 • 13 minutes 55 seconds
Park Avenue's colourful Christmas
Whilst looking on the tasteful fairy lights of Park Avenue's festival decorations, Alistair Cooke reflects on how, not so long ago, Christmas had a reputation of debauchery.
24/12/1999 • 14 minutes 12 seconds
Old Sentiment and New Honesty
A vintage edition of Letter from America, first broadcast in December 1967. Alistair Cooke muses on parking tickets for senators and tells a Christmas story.
17/12/1999 • 13 minutes 38 seconds
Renewed Concern Over Secondhand Smoke
Passive smoking fears make Alistair Cooke evaluate the cleanliness of the air around us. Plus, he adds a postscript to his evaluation of the protest against the World Trade Organisation in Seattle.
10/12/1999 • 14 minutes 28 seconds
The Last Demo Circus of the Year
Alistair Cooke discusses the protests against the World Trade Organisation convention in Seattle and argues that globalisation can no more be abolished than can the internet.
03/12/1999 • 14 minutes 13 seconds
The Most American of All American Festivals
Whilst turkeys roast and yams bake, Alistair Cooke reflects on the traditions, history and recipes of the traditional American Thanksgiving.
26/11/1999 • 13 minutes 51 seconds
Fortress America and Beloved Symbols of Britain
Whilst President Clinton's visit to Oslo fizzed with pomp and glory, Alistair Cooke discusses how it managed to overshadow the real reason for going; a memorial service in honour of Yitzhak Rabin. Plus, he evaluates Tony Blair's banishment of hereditary peers in the House of Lords.
19/11/1999 • 14 minutes 8 seconds
Democracy in Action
To commemorate 10 years since the fall of the Berlin wall, Alistair Cooke explains why America paid so much attention to the city and the promise it held for democracy.
12/11/1999 • 13 minutes 20 seconds
At the Centre of Things
Upon visiting San Francisco, Alistair Cooke reflects on the ego-centric lives of city dwellers and the great assumptions that they make on a daily basis.
05/11/1999 • 14 minutes 21 seconds
That Fateful Night in Macbeth
Under imminent attack from the All Hallows’ Eve celebrations, Alistair Cooke discusses the origins of Halloween, vampire legends, and the vulnerability of children "trick or treating".
29/10/1999 • 12 minutes 59 seconds
Wishful Thinking Overload
Alistair Cooke compares the Boston Massacre with the rejection of a nuclear treaty, and explains how a good treaty can still be defeated by a few short-sighted people.
22/10/1999 • 14 minutes 24 seconds
A Plea to the Senate
Alistair Cooke reflects on the European pleas to the US Senate to ratify the Test Ban Treaty, and compares it with the Senate's condemnation of 1919 Treaty of Versailles.
15/10/1999 • 13 minutes 22 seconds
Greed, Liquor, Jingoism and Bad Taste
Alistair Cooke considers why the vices of greed, liquor, jingoism and bad taste should suddenly intrude on the spectator stands at sports events.
08/10/1999 • 13 minutes 57 seconds
The Arrival of the Golf Hooligan
Alistair Cooke considers the etiquette of sport and reflects on the sad, infamous day that his beloved golf became a victim of audience hooliganism.
01/10/1999 • 13 minutes 56 seconds
The Ordeal of Hurricane Floyd
Alistair Cooke reflects on the affects of Hurricane Floyd - the massive untold story of the rain it dumped on inland towns and how it lifted the rivers.
24/09/1999 • 13 minutes 22 seconds
Barkers at Pleasure Beach Side Shows
Alistair Cooke examines the over-sensationalism within the British Press towards a parasitic virus affecting New York and examines the damage of hurricane Floyd.
17/09/1999 • 14 minutes 6 seconds
No Exempt Categories
Alistair Cooke reflects on his visit to a New York hospital, being exempt from jury service and Mayor Rudy Guiliani's recent stint as a juror.
10/09/1999 • 14 minutes 14 seconds
Alistair Cooke critiques a thesis which believes America’s new National Policy is following in the footsteps of the British policies that foreshadowed World War Two.
03/09/1999 • 14 minutes 1 second
Alistair Cooke reviews speculation on why the Russians and Chinese have chosen to hold "a friendly summit" and reflects on the non-confession of Governor Bush over cocaine use.
27/08/1999 • 13 minutes 21 seconds
Close, but No Cigar
Alistair Cooke discusses the medical and social aspects of cigar smoking which is becoming fashionable again in the USA.
20/08/1999 • 14 minutes 10 seconds
No Word from Mount Olympus
Whilst Congress tries to pass a huge tax cut before the summer recess, Alistair Cooke wonders how they could possibly predict the state of the economy in 2010.
13/08/1999 • 14 minutes 5 seconds
Going to Pot or to Pluto
Alistair Cooke reflects on preaching to the youth of today and is staggered by two little words – "British Citizen".
06/08/1999 • 12 minutes 48 seconds
Loneliness, Male Companionship and the Hunt
Alistair Cooke discusses his admiration for Ernest Hemingway and provides his own comical parody of his writing style.
30/07/1999 • 13 minutes 59 seconds
Tyrants and Curses Live On
Alistair Cooke reflects on the hysterical press coverage of John F. Kennedy Junior's plane crash, and is heartened by a NATO led environmental survey in Yugoslavia.
23/07/1999 • 13 minutes 27 seconds
The Brewing of Racial Storms
Alistair Cooke reflects on the long held belief of sports journalist Henry Longhurst that many forms of sporting contests do more harm to international relations than good.
16/07/1999 • 14 minutes 8 seconds
Air Conditioning and Changes in Society
Alistair Cooke concedes to his hot weather house arrest by reflecting on the creation of air conditioning.
09/07/1999 • 14 minutes
The First Golden Paratrooper
Alistair Cooke reflects on the golden parachute of retirement and Gloria Minoprio's first stand for women's liberty in the golf world.
02/07/1999 • 14 minutes 22 seconds
Playing for Time
Alistair Cooke reflects on why it takes so long for the judges in the Supreme Court to reach a verdict.
25/06/1999 • 13 minutes 20 seconds
Freedom in America
Alistair Cooke ponders on spontaneous protests and reveals what led up to Rosa Parks changing American history.
18/06/1999 • 14 minutes 8 seconds
Testing Times in the Advancement of Science
With the US in uproar about genetically modified crops, Alistair Cooke remembers other scientific discoveries which caused controversy in their creation.
11/06/1999 • 13 minutes 54 seconds
Laws Doomed from the Start
Alistair Cooke explores how one man’s use of an electric golf buggy altered the meaning of a US disability law and remembers the UK’s struggle with daylight saving.
04/06/1999 • 14 minutes 17 seconds
Witticisms and Crazy One-Liners
Alistair Cooke tries to forget the worrying events like the Balkan wars in the news by remembering some witticism and anecdotes.
28/05/1999 • 14 minutes 5 seconds
A Course in Manners
Alistair Cooke reflects on Germaine Greer and the feminist movement, and the new US course to teach taxi drivers and other civil servants good manners.
21/05/1999 • 13 minutes 40 seconds
Two Attitudes about China
After the bombing of a Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan, Alistair Cooke reflects on the subsequent souring of the American-Chinese relations.
14/05/1999 • 13 minutes 25 seconds
Columbine High School shootings, 1999
The shootings by schoolboys in Columbine High School, Colorado and the long running fight between gun controllers and the National Rifle Association.
07/05/1999 • 14 minutes 5 seconds
No Schadenfreude on Nato's Birthday
Alistair Cooke recalls his memories of 1949 when NATO was first created and considers the roles of the founding fathers.
30/04/1999 • 13 minutes 56 seconds
What's Your Exit Strategy?
On the 50th anniversary of NATO, Alistair Cooke considers the power it wealds, President Clinton's tactics and the use of exit strategies.
23/04/1999 • 13 minutes 43 seconds
Whatever It Takes
Alistair Cooke considers why the only senator running for office who will acknowledge the NATO war is Senator John McCain.
16/04/1999 • 14 minutes 19 seconds
The Art and Curse of Television
Alistair Cooke considers the power television has in reflecting the real images of war and peace since the abolition of front-line censorship.
09/04/1999 • 14 minutes 10 seconds
In the Hot Seat
In the light of NATO Airstrike against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Alistair Cooke reflects on the tactics of war from World War Two, to Vietnam, to the Gulf War.
02/04/1999 • 14 minutes 6 seconds
Doves, Hawks, Owls and the People
Alistair Cooke considers the squawked warnings from two sides of the economic market plunge and the power held by Mr Alan Greenspan, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.
26/03/1999 • 13 minutes 38 seconds
Wholesale Flouting of the Law
Alistair Cooke considers how US Presidents keep flouting the War Powers Resolution, San Francisco's immigrant population and the use of bulk carriers in shipping.
19/03/1999 • 14 minutes 10 seconds
A Natural Gentleman
In a tribute to the placid, talented, baseball player Joe DiMaggio, Alistair Cooke reflects on the character of a gentleman.
12/03/1999 • 13 minutes 50 seconds
Played for a Sucker
In the light of revelations about the CIA in Iraq, Alistair Cooke ponders the age old question; who watches the watchmen?
05/03/1999 • 13 minutes 56 seconds
The Pursuit of Self-Determination
Alistair Cooke reflects on the influence of President Woodrow Wilson on redrawing the map of Europe after the First World War.
26/02/1999 • 13 minutes 54 seconds
Our Long Holiday from History is Over
Alistair Cooke reflects on the political fallout of President Clinton’s impeachment trial and a pilots' strike.
19/02/1999 • 14 minutes 9 seconds
It ain't Over, Till it's Over
Alistair Cooke celebrates Americans who've coined famous lines and concludes that "it aint over, till it's over" for President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial.
12/02/1999 • 14 minutes 14 seconds
Dot Dot Dash Dash, Over and Out
To commemorate the last wireless telegraph, Alistair Cooke reflects on the creation of Morse code and its most famous uses.
05/02/1999 • 14 minutes 19 seconds
The Moral Pillar and the Moral Contortionist
Alistair Cooke reflects on the ethical dilemmas that arise when the Pope visits the United States of America.
29/01/1999 • 13 minutes 47 seconds
Striving for a More Perfect Union
Alistair Cooke reflects on Clinton's State of the Union address and asks why the only national holiday named after a human being is Rev. Martin Luther King Day.
22/01/1999 • 14 minutes 15 seconds
The US Senate trial of Bill Clinton, 1999
Alistair Cooke reports on the US Senate trial of President Bill Clinton, and reflects on some of the most interesting trials that he covered as a reporter.
15/01/1999 • 13 minutes 28 seconds
Illuminating Events with Unpredictable Results
In the light of the impeachment trial of President Clinton, Alistair Cooke remembers the only other presidential impeachment that occurred 130 years ago.
08/01/1999 • 14 minutes 37 seconds
Alistair Cooke reflects on some of the more memorable moments of 1998.
01/01/1999 • 13 minutes 59 seconds
Decline in US personal savings
American personal saving rates drop below zero and Alistair Cooke considers the economists who see this as good news, those who see it as bad and a culture that encourages credit.
25/12/1998 • 14 minutes 13 seconds
Operation Desert Fox begins
The Operation Desert Fox bombing campaign begins in Iraq after the UN is refused access to weapons sites and Congress ponders whether Clinton should face an impeachment trial.
18/12/1998 • 13 minutes 58 seconds
Clinton impeachment hearing
The House Judiciary Committee meets to decide on adoption of impeachment proceedings against Clinton Alistair Cooke considers this tortuous process and its likely outcome.
11/12/1998 • 14 minutes 19 seconds
From New York to Sarajevo, Alistair Cooke considers the history and traditions of Thanksgiving celebrations, recent opposition and Churchill's first meeting with a turkey dinner.
04/12/1998 • 13 minutes 46 seconds
Saddam's nuclear arsenal
How can America deal with Saddam Hussein's suspected nuclear and biological weapons in Iraq and does a resurgence in US financial markets conceal an unstable future?
27/11/1998 • 14 minutes 13 seconds
Some memorable letters from America
Aaron Burgett's Alcatraz escape, a stolen premature baby and the decline of the summer bachelor; Alistair Cooke recalls his most popular and memorable talks of the last 52 years.
20/11/1998 • 14 minutes 15 seconds
Hurricane Mitch devastates Honduras and Nicaragua
The aid effort begins after hurricane Mitch wreaks devastation in Honduras and Nicaragua and Alistair Cooke considers how relatively trivial news can distract from great disasters.
13/11/1998 • 12 minutes 27 seconds
Democrat victory 1998 midterms
Clinton's Democrats gain seats in the 1998 midterm election, a first for a US ruling party since Roosevelt and 1934, California goes Democrat and Clinton regains his confidence.
06/11/1998 • 13 minutes 44 seconds
Congressional midterms 1998
The Republican use of the Lewinsky scandal against Clinton during Congressional elections seems to backfire. Considering the parallel of Grover Cleveland's illegitimate child.
30/10/1998 • 14 minutes 9 seconds
John Glenn returns to Space
As John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth prepares to return to space at the age of 77, Cooke remembers the extraordinary TV broadcast and Glenn's instant fame.
23/10/1998 • 13 minutes 20 seconds
Separated by Language
Remembering New York writer Jerome Weidman, Pulitzer prize winner and America's first 'street-smart novelist', Alistair Cooke considers the peculiarities of American English.
16/10/1998 • 13 minutes 59 seconds
Presidential infidelities impeachment
Misconceptions over the frequency of Presidential infidelities, recalling a time when the press never discussed a statesman's private life, and the impeachment process explained.
09/10/1998 • 13 minutes 39 seconds
The President's economic problems
The Asian economic crisis expands into Brazil and Alistair Cooke considers that though there's little a President can do about economic problems, they will always get the blame.
02/10/1998 • 13 minutes 47 seconds
George Gershwin (1898-1937)
Composer George Gershwin's life and music is remembered for the centenary of his birth and a consideration of the history and post-Soviet boom in Russian immigration to New York.
25/09/1998 • 14 minutes 2 seconds
The life of George Wallace, reformed racial segregationist and Governor of Alabama is remembered and Alistair Cooke considers his anger and the humble truth of his repentance.
18/09/1998 • 13 minutes 46 seconds
Impeachment for Clinton?
The Lewinsky report is published, the House of Representatives begins to consider evidence and impeachment and President Clinton asks for forgiveness.
11/09/1998 • 14 minutes 17 seconds
Son of Black Monday
The financial crash of August 1998, its causes and effects are compared with Alistair Cooke's memories of the first Black Monday in 1987 and the Black Thursday of 1929.
04/09/1998 • 13 minutes 52 seconds
US cruise missile strikes
A subdued Clinton family holiday turns to political action as America launches cruise missile attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan and Clinton makes a revitalised public appearance.
28/08/1998 • 13 minutes 2 seconds
The President will address the nation
President Clinton makes a televised confession of his affair with Monica Lewinsky: Alistair Cooke considers its inadequacy and the betrayal of those who trusted and supported him.
21/08/1998 • 13 minutes 37 seconds
The threat of Y2K
Senator Robert Bennett prepares the US to face millennial computer failure and Alistair Cooke considers the origin and potentially disastrous consequences of the Y2K glitch.
14/08/1998 • 13 minutes 18 seconds
Proposition 227, immigration and English
Proposition 227, to teach immigrant's children purely in English, passes in California and Alistair Cooke considers the infamous English of Polish Hollywood producer Sam Goldwyn.
07/08/1998 • 13 minutes 4 seconds
The evolution of the grand jury
President Clinton is subpoenaed to appear before Mr Starr's grand jury, the English origins of the US grand jury system and the flaws that led to it being abandoned in Britain.
31/07/1998 • 14 minutes 13 seconds
Clinton's high aproval rating and Monica Lewinsky
Examining allegations that President Clinton persuaded Monica Lewinsky to give false testimony, Clinton's high approval rating and has Alan Greenspan noticed the heat wave?
24/07/1998 • 12 minutes 42 seconds
Texas heatwave and investigating Clinton
The emergency caused by the 1998 Texas heatwave and should Clinton's Secret Service men be asked to testify in the Starr investigation into an alleged affair with Monica Lewinsky?
17/07/1998 • 13 minutes 38 seconds
Roy Rogers and cinema cowboys
On the death of Roy Rogers (1911 -1998), the singing cowboy, Cooke considers the great film cowboys, Bruce Wayne, William S. Hart, Gary Cooper and the stuntman Yakima Canutt.
10/07/1998 • 14 minutes 1 second
Bad behaviour in tennis and chivalry in golf
The rise and fall of tennis brats from the riot of McEnroe v Nastase, NYC 1979 to McEnroe's forfiet at the 1990 Australian Open and golf as the last refuge of chivalry in sport.
03/07/1998 • 13 minutes 57 seconds
Clinton in China, June 1998
President Clinton visits China and Alistair Cooke considers US - China relations, their economic balance, disagreement over Taiwan and the changes since Nixon's visit in 1972.
26/06/1998 • 14 minutes 6 seconds
Japan's economy, Louise Woodward and homosexuality
US intervention in Japan's economy, Louise Woodward returns to the UK after her life sentence is reduced and Republican Trent Lott calls homosexuality a sin on national TV.
19/06/1998 • 13 minutes 53 seconds
El Niño making Congress restless
Considering religious freedom, anti-Catholic feeling, same-sex marriage, El Niño and renaming schools named after slave owners as Congress tidies around the edges of major issues.
12/06/1998 • 13 minutes 56 seconds
Barry Goldwater (1909-1998)
Remembering Barry Goldwater, Alistair Cooke considers a most memorable defeated presidential candidate - the cowboy from Phoenix, Arizona who changed the Republican Party forever.
05/06/1998 • 13 minutes 58 seconds
Immigrants to America and assimilation
What happens if immigrants to America don't want to become Americans? Alistair Cooke considers assimilation, patriotism, Memorial Day and proposition 227.
29/05/1998 • 14 minutes 2 seconds
The Microsoft monopoly actions
Bill Gates' Microsoft faces a barrage of legal actions claiming that the Explorer web browser is a monopoly and Alistair Cooke considers the history of US anti-monopoly law.
22/05/1998 • 13 minutes 59 seconds
India's first nuclear tests
India's 1998 nuclear tests take the US government by surprise and Alistair Cooke considers the vast changes in the daily burdens of the presidency since the 1920s.
15/05/1998 • 14 minutes 19 seconds
Medicine, inventions and the quick-fix
The desire for a 'quick-fix', the false dawns of the daily medical miracle, the instant imitation of new inventions and excitement over a 'so-called' impotence pill.
08/05/1998 • 13 minutes 54 seconds
California's progressive social legislation
The homogenisation of US life and media, California's lead in social legislation and two new Californian propositions on English for immigrants and labour union spending.
01/05/1998 • 13 minutes 55 seconds
US anti-smoking legislation
A history of US anti-smoking legislation, teenage smoking, the attempts of pro-tobacco lobbyists to cut a favourable deal and a draft bill which could cost them $516 billion.
24/04/1998 • 13 minutes 46 seconds
US financial regulation
The uncertain future of the investment bubble, US financial regulation, the lack of open reporting of financial figures in Asian countries and the effects of El Niño on weather.
17/04/1998 • 14 minutes 6 seconds
Consequences of the Disability Act
The consequences Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the influence of the civil courts on pro-golf and a 9 year old girl's debunking of Therapeutic Touch.
10/04/1998 • 13 minutes 44 seconds
Clinton sexual assault case thrown out
Judge Wright throws out Paula Jones' civil prosecution of President Clinton for an alleged sexual assault in 1991. How will it affect the investigation of the Whitewater land deal?
03/04/1998 • 14 minutes
The complexities and historical shifts of the interpretation of constitutional rights, freedom of speech and how to fly the American flag.
27/03/1998 • 13 minutes 56 seconds
St Patrick's Day controversies
The controversies behind New York's St Patrick's Day Parade, US misconceptions about the status of Northern Ireland and American Irish historical memory of the famine of 1845/6.
20/03/1998 • 14 minutes 5 seconds
US power and responsibility abroad
Kosovo, Iraq, Haiti and Nicaragua: US rhetoric and responsibility for life and liberty abroad is compared to past problems of power and responsibility for the British Empire.
13/03/1998 • 13 minutes 54 seconds
Bill Gates and the Senate Judiciary Committee
Bill Gates comes before the Senate Judiciary Committee accused of creating an internet browser monopoly and Alistair Cooke considers previous appearances from Rockefeller to Nixon.
06/03/1998 • 13 minutes 52 seconds
Jerome Murray, inventor (1912-1998)
Jerome Murray inventor of myriad conveniences, from the high speed dentist's drill to covered aeroplane boarding ramps, and the UN weapons inspection agreement with Saddam Hussein.
27/02/1998 • 13 minutes 32 seconds
Investigating President Clinton
The investigative process which has led to the Clinton - Lewinsky allegations, the role of special prosecutor Starr, the grand jury and examining President Clinton's response.
20/02/1998 • 13 minutes 56 seconds
The problems of military action in Iraq
The UN refuses to take united action against Saddam Hussein and Alistair Cooke considers America's movement towards and the potential problems of military action in Iraq.
13/02/1998 • 14 minutes 7 seconds
Clinton's contadictory polls
The contradiction of Clinton's high approval rating and belief that he's lying, shifting taboos on reporting private life and the culture of social arbitration through law courts.
06/02/1998 • 13 minutes 49 seconds
The Monica Lewinsky scandal emerges
Tapes emerge alledging that Monica Lewinsky was asked to lie on oath about an affair with the President and Clinton delivers a dazzling state of the Union address.
30/01/1998 • 13 minutes 57 seconds
Cuba after the fall of the USSR
Considering Cuba's remarkable economic survival after the loss of Soviet support, the history of US-Cuban relations, and a visit to the island by Pope John Paul II.
23/01/1998 • 14 minutes 12 seconds
New York society
Class mobility and social change in New York are illustrated by Alistair Cooke with the stories of the Astors, the Metropolitan Opera House, JP Morgan and Mrs Stuyvesant Fish.
16/01/1998 • 14 minutes 9 seconds
Failing to predict the future
Considering failures by expert meteorologists, economists and Kremlinologists to predict the future, why do mere newspaper columnists ever attempt it?
09/01/1998 • 14 minutes 8 seconds
Helping the homeless
Increased awareness of homelessness and poverty and the failure of ideologies to address the variety of the homeless population are considered by Alistair Cooke.
02/01/1998 • 14 minutes 21 seconds
A New York Christmas story
The story of Zebby Adams, the real Santa Claus, and how his joyride got him into trouble – and his Christmas spirit got him out of it
26/12/1997 • 14 minutes 25 seconds
Financial crisis in Asia
How the whole world catches a cold from one financial sneeze in Asia – the danger of epidemics in a global economy
12/12/1997 • 14 minutes 4 seconds
Tony Blair's vision of a nodern Britain, alistair Cooke's suggestions for a tour of the US, and Roosevelt's post-war plea for Americans to holiday in the Caribbean.
05/12/1997 • 14 minutes 45 seconds
US national Holidays
National holidays in America, dangerous cholesterol levels at Thanksgiving, and how Alistair Cooke convinced the state of Idaho to celebrate the birthday of George Washington.
28/11/1997 • 14 minutes 10 seconds
Sir Isaiah Berlin
The continuing search for Saddam's deadly toxic secrets and the loss of a friend, the brilliant, witty and wise Sir Isaiah Berlin
21/11/1997 • 14 minutes 32 seconds
Judge Zobel and the Louise Woodward verdict
The verdict in the Louise Woodward trial, the ability of Judge Zobel to reduce the severity of the conviction, and the difference between state and federal law in the US.
14/11/1997 • 13 minutes 48 seconds
President Jiang in America
Chinese President Jiang's 1997 visit to America to meet President Clinton, the dangers of a strong Chinese economy, and Saddam Hussein's threat to shoot down planes over Iraq.
07/11/1997 • 14 minutes
The Wall Street crash
Highs and lows of the stock market – and a reminder the events leading up to the 1929 Wall Street crash.
31/10/1997 • 14 minutes 2 seconds
The Kennedy Missile Tapes of 1962
The taping discussions in the White House, what the Kennedy tapes reveal about the discovery of missile bases in Cuba, and how the president reacted to the crisis of 1962.
24/10/1997 • 14 minutes 3 seconds
What exactly is El Niño, and why is this phenomenon named the 'Christ Child' causing trouble for more than just the Queen's visit to California?
17/10/1997 • 14 minutes 10 seconds
How President Clinton's veto will stop local politicians stuffing themselves with pork barrel amendments; and how it's now OK to eat up all of your egg.
10/10/1997 • 14 minutes 2 seconds
Dr George Gallup (1901 - 1984)
So you think you know how most people feel? Meet Dr George Gallup, the man who transformed our views on what really constitutes public opinion.
03/10/1997 • 13 minutes 50 seconds
American stereotypes on film
An examination of the stereotypes of American life as portrayed in Hollywood movies, and seen by a global audience.
26/09/1997 • 13 minutes 45 seconds
In the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana, remembering Rudolph Valentino, the first superstar creation lost in the dazzle of the spotlight.
19/09/1997 • 14 minutes 5 seconds
Megan's Law, the Miranda law and others named after people, and Elisha Dov Hack's protest about moral standards in Yale university dormitories.
12/09/1997 • 13 minutes 40 seconds
Princess Diana of Wales (1961-1997)
The impact of the death of Princess Diana of Wales in the US, and the moral regulation required for freedom of speech and a free press.
05/09/1997 • 14 minutes 22 seconds
The 1997 United Parcel Service strike
The United Parcel Service (UPS) employees strike reminds Alistair Cooke of previous union demonstrations of power, including the disastrous 1981 Air Traffic Controllers strike.
22/08/1997 • 13 minutes 36 seconds
The curious rise in the demand for bottled water, and the speculation all down to status symbol mania taking over plain common sense.
15/08/1997 • 13 minutes 52 seconds
Integration in San Francisco schools
A discussion on the success of Asian immigrants, and a grand jury condemns the failure of integration in San Francisco schools.
08/08/1997 • 14 minutes 1 second
Clinton: Prosperity and popularity
How the public perception of Bill Clinton as a prosperous president is keeping him at the top of the popularity polls.
01/08/1997 • 13 minutes 41 seconds
The end of civilisation
The closure of the remaining Woolworth department stores in the US signals the loss of a retail institution for the older generation.
25/07/1997 • 14 minutes 14 seconds
A recollection of the life and work of American actor James Stewart (1908-1997).
18/07/1997 • 13 minutes 55 seconds
The Clinton re-election campaign
Senator Fred Thompson, the mystery of the millions illegally contributed to Clinton's re-election campaign, and the loss of sporting good manners.
11/07/1997 • 13 minutes 48 seconds
The sovereignty of Hong Kong.
The US take on the handover of Hong Kong to the Chinese in July 1997, the ceremony accompanying the transfer of power, and the Chinese hopes for a peaceful return of Taiwan.
04/07/1997 • 13 minutes 45 seconds
Roswell UFO incident
The reported sightings of a UFO in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, a review of the military explanations after the incident, and the refusal of some to believe the official accounts.
27/06/1997 • 14 minutes 11 seconds
Watergate - 25 years on
A look back at the break-in at the Watergate office complex in 1972, the details of the FBI investigation in to the incident and the eventual resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974.
20/06/1997 • 14 minutes 4 seconds
The healthy nature of the economy during the Clinton presidency, the need for a scare story in the news media, and the threat of salmonella, cholesterol and alcoholism.
13/06/1997 • 13 minutes 41 seconds
William Clayton (1880-1966)
A look at the life and work of William Clayton, the official who assessed the state of post-war Europe, and returned to the US to play a major role in drafting the Marshall Plan.
06/06/1997 • 13 minutes 59 seconds
The Kelly Flinn case
The cases of Kelly Flinn and Paula Jones, two women at the heart of sex scandals that could change US military law, or even the Constitution.
30/05/1997 • 14 minutes 26 seconds
Spending the nation's money
Alistair Cooke reflects on the differences between the American and British methods of presenting and debating a budget.
23/05/1997 • 14 minutes 46 seconds
Sir Lionel Sackville-West (1827 - 1908)
The 1997 UK general election, viewed from across the Atlantic, and the story of Sir Lionel Sackville-West, the man whose fatuity lost the Democrats the 1888 presidency.
16/05/1997 • 14 minutes 22 seconds
Franklin D Roosevelt monument
The unveiling of a Franklin D Roosevelt monument in Washington DC reminds Alistair Cooke of the problems that arise when erecting statues of notable figures.
09/05/1997 • 14 minutes 30 seconds
Tiger Woods' ethnicity
Tiger Woods, the golfing wonder whose ethnicity proves hard to pigeonhole – and, as fellow golf champion Fuzzy Zoeller discovers, can't be joked about.
02/05/1997 • 14 minutes 41 seconds
How television has become a valuable historical archive, and how film can be replayed to haunt those taped, not least the tobacco industry bosses who lied about nicotine addiction.
25/04/1997 • 14 minutes 12 seconds
Jackie Robinson (1919 – 1972)
A tribute to Jackie Robinson (1919 – 1972) the first black Major League baseball player who ended racial segregation when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
18/04/1997 • 14 minutes 2 seconds
The Augusta National Golf Club
How the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia became the home of golf in America. Alistair Cooke explores the history of his beloved golf course.
11/04/1997 • 14 minutes 5 seconds
Al Gore's Chinese aeroplane deal
Vice President Al Gore oversees the Boeing 777 jetliners deal with China. Plus, should presidential candidates get free television publicity?
04/04/1997 • 14 minutes 5 seconds
A profile of Alan Greenspan, economist and former Chairman of the Federal Reserve. The most powerful man in the world who no one is ever likely to recognise in public.
28/03/1997 • 13 minutes 40 seconds
How does the US restrict children accessing pornography on the internet – without tripping over the Constitution? Does the 1st amendment cover the internet?
21/03/1997 • 13 minutes 47 seconds
Clinton's campaign money scandal
President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore have been caught soliciting money from inside the White House for use in the presidential campaign. How will the scandal unfold?
14/03/1997 • 14 minutes 18 seconds
Protecting the freedom of speech
The House of Representatives vote in favour of the Ten Commandments. The legal contest between the American Civil Liberties Union's and Judge Moore over the freedom of speech.
07/03/1997 • 14 minutes 22 seconds
Astronaut John Glenn
John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit Earth, retires after a lifetime in the public eye.
28/02/1997 • 14 minutes 29 seconds
American Airlines pilots' strike
President Clinton forgets about upsetting organised labour and chooses instead to keep American business flying by forcing a stop to the airline pilots strike.
21/02/1997 • 14 minutes 23 seconds
OJ Simpson's damages
Is the $33.5m damages a fair sum for guilty OJ Simpson to pay, or simply the price of revenge masquerading as justice?
14/02/1997 • 14 minutes 15 seconds
OJ Simpson guilty
Why the jury found OJ Simpson guilty on his second trial. The black-and-white pattern which lies behind the second trial verdict, described as a 'reasonable response to the facts'.
07/02/1997 • 13 minutes 39 seconds
Pope John Paul II (1920 – 2005)
The instillation of Pope John Paul II in 1978 caused a flutter amongst the Polish immigrants in Long Island who worship at Our Lady of Ostrobrama.
31/01/1997 • 13 minutes 58 seconds
A history of Washington DC
The history of Washington D.C as the capital city of the United States, and the effect of the reign of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on the crime rate in New York City in 1997.
24/01/1997 • 14 minutes 24 seconds
Presidential inaugurations - from George Washington's 1789 pomp and parade, to Andrew Jackson's drunken brawl, to finally Bill Clinton's home-grown vegetable dinner.
17/01/1997 • 13 minutes 31 seconds
The Speaker of the House
The various roles of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the future of Newt Gingrich following his guilty plea to the charge of misinforming the subcommittee in 1997.
10/01/1997 • 13 minutes 20 seconds
The Boston Massacre
How an engraving by Paul Revere exaggerated the 1770 riot at Boston's Customs House into the Boston Massacre. Plus, the unsolved mystery of why flight TWA 800 crashed in 1996.