Reaching a worldwide audience, the late great Alastair Cooke`s “Letter from America” ran from 1946 to 2004 on the BBC. In this landmark programme, Cooke would present a 15` speech on a topical issue in the USA, tying together different strands of observation and anecdote and often ending on a humorous or poignant note. The series ran for 2,869 episodes over 58 years.
On the basis that if it`s a good idea, it`s worth copying, we humbly present for your consideration our “Letters to America”. In our case however, the strands of “observation and anecdote” will range widely, and, we hope, fruitfully, to cover topical issues on BOTH sides of the Atlantic.


The world has moved on a long way from the gentle and wry tones of Cooke`s musings. Even from the relatively short time since the last broadcast in the series in 2004 when Cooke was in his 90`s, so called social media has transformed the way we communicate with each other and with the wider world. Unglamorous and devoid of technical wizardry as it may be, perhaps it is time to rediscover the merits of simple, thoughtful opinion carefully expressed through plain words. The late John F Kennedy said “Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought”. Hopefully, readers will find some stimulating discomfort based on the mutual musings of two old friends whose claim to wisdom is no greater than having had the inestimable good fortune to have found in each other a kindred spirit.


Writing from the UK is “Plato”, a 70 year old retiree with interests covering Politics, the State of the Nation, Music and Gardening.
From the USA, “Cato” is a 79 year old with a taste for speed (as his Harley attests) and a deep and abiding interest in History and how to avoid it.