Alistair Cooke's America


First transmitted in 1972, Alistair Cooke's America was a series of thirteen, fifty-minute films in colour, written and narrated by Alistair Cooke. The programmes trace the history of the United States from the early voyages of discovery to the present.

Episode Description


Pebble Mill at One

Episode Description


The First Impact

Alistair Cooke looks at the first impressions he had of America when he first arrived in 1932.


The New Found Land

This edition looks at the French and Spanish explorers who fist came to America and retraces the epic journeys of Coronado in 1540.


Home From Home

This edition looks at the two types of British colinists, the merchants who arrived in Virginia and in the South and the Puritans who setttled in New England, and the role of Benjamin Franklin.


Making a Revolution

This edition looks at the American revolution of 1776.


Inventing a Nation

This edition looks at the creation of the Constitution and the role of Thomas Jefferson and also at the grass-roots groups that changed the plans of the Founding Fathers.


Gone West

This edition looks at the West, from Daniel boone's cave in Kentucky to Gold Rush of 1840.


A Firebell in the Night

This edition looks at the causes of the American Civil War (1861-1865) and the plight of the African slaves.


Domesticating A Wilderness

This edition looks at the end of the Wild West, which was precipitated by the the completion of the rail link in 1869, the invention of the wind pump and other factors.


Money on the Land

This edition looks at America's natural resources, and how they were exploited by the likes of John D. Rockerfellr, Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison.


The Huddled Masses

This edition looks at European immigrants coming to America.


The Promise Fulfilled and the Promise Broken

This edition looks at the 1920s, which saw America go from an era of unparalelled prosperity to the severest economic depression ever known.



This episode looks at the impact that warfare and the military has had on the history of America.


The More Abundant Life

To give Americans a "more abundant life" was the stated aim of FDR's `New Deal' in the 1930s. Alistair Cooke travels from New England to Hawaii to consider if this was achieved.