Memories of the Great and Good by Alistair Cooke 296 pp.
This is a collection of articles written by Cooke profiling 23 men and women who were prominent in their field of endeavor. Some were taken from interviews, while others were obituary articles. Included are politicians, actors, generals, scientists, authors, and others who gained fame in one way or the other. Cooke considered all to be remarkable in their own way. Cooke reveals his wonder at the media silence about FDR's disability, commends LBJ's backroom acumen, has a chatty interview with the retired President Eisenhower, and is a little too complimentary of then California governor, Ronald Reagan. Cooke's writings about Erma Bombeck, actor Gary Cooper, and journalist, James Reston are heartfelt and complimentary. He is wholly sympathetic to P.G. Wodehouse's unfortunate duping by the Nazis. But he saves his greatest accolades for golfer Bobby Jones and Winston Churchill. This is an engaging book, ideal to read in short sittings.