Dennis Sewell

On The Road

American Journey: Life on the Home Front in the Second World War

By

Allen Lane / Penguin Press 327pp £20 order from our bookshop

There is something intriguing about any lost manuscript, newly discovered. Will it sparkle like buried treasure, crack a code, contain a prophecy? Or was there good reason for its disappearance: second thoughts on the part of the author, sound judgement on the part of a publisher? This book spent almost sixty years in Alistair Cooke’s closet before it was dug out by his secretary, Patti Yasek, a short while before the writer’s death. Cooke, who was fastidious to the end, was delighted by the find and content the book should be published. This is not, then, a case of the artist’s discarded canvases or sketchbook doodles being rushed to market by post-mortem scavengers.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Why did the 'bold and determined' Empress Matilda never manage to become Queen regnant? Peter Marshall reviews a n… ,
    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,