America (UK)

BBC Two (ended 1973)


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America (UK)

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Welcome to the America guide at America is a prolific documentary series that focuses on the history of the United States of America. The series host, Alistair Cooke, was foreign correspondent for the Manchester Guardian, based in New York, from 1947 until 1972. The series tells his personal journey through the history of his adopted homeland, it is so much a personal journey that in the opening titles of each episode the series calls itself: "America - A Personal History of the United States - By Alistair Cooke". The 13 episode series aired virtually simultaneously in the UK and in the USA, on BBC-2 and NBC respectively. In 1973, after the series had aired, Cooke was awarded an Emmy for "Individuals contributing to Documentary Programs" as well as receiving an honorary knighthood. Later, he was invited to address the joint Houses of the United States Congress as part of Congress's bicentennial celebrations. The series has since been rerun on public television in the USA, one of the few commercial shows to do so, and on digital TV in the UK.moreless
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  • They don't make 'em like this anymore...this is the way a documentary should be.

    Alistair Cooke's Personal History of the United States of America is the classic documentary. Cooke's style of explaining every aspect of every part of key moments in the history of the United States is unbeatable. This documentary doesn't concern itself with attracting the highest audiences and doesn't waste time and money on expensive reconstructions, computer generated sequences or overly dramatic music, instead Cooke's words paint the picture of America precisely and the viewer is engaged by his style and his love for his subject.

    Each episode is self contained and needs no introduction but leaves the viewer wanting more - it is the way documentaries should always be: interesting, engaging and informative.

    Unfortunately, they don't make them like this anymore...moreless