Alistair Cooke’s America

Cooke, Alistair

Basic Books, 2009

pp. 14-15

“In a motion picture of the 1930’s, the hero was a young American from the prairie arriving in England to take up a Rhodes scholarship. He settled for his first trip to Oxford into the smugness of an English ‘railway carriage’ and found himself sitting opposite an English parson buried in his newspaper. As the gaping boy looked out over the small-scale landscape with its velvety pastures, trim gardens, and checkerboard hedgerows, he could not restrain himself. ‘You know, sir,’ he said, ‘I guess the whole of England could be fitted into one corner of Nebraska.’ The parson looked up from his paper and crisply replied, ‘But to what end, young man?’”