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RIP Louis “Studs” Terkel 1912-2008 — Why Now?
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RIP Louis “Studs” Terkel 1912-2008

A master observer of life in the United States has died at 96.

Check out his Wikipedia entry as a starting point, and then start reading his books if you want to know what it was like in 20th century in the words of the people who lived it. He collected the stories of regular people, oral histories, their stories in their words. Not famous or well-known people, just regular people.

He wasn’t all that interested in the people in high places, because the real history happened to the mass of people, and those were the stories he told.


1 LadyMin { 11.02.08 at 11:47 am }

He was certainly an interesting guy. Although he lived in Chicago all his life, I think he was more famous in the rest of the country.

2 Bryan { 11.02.08 at 12:21 pm }

You never get much respect from the people who knew you as a kid.

Everyone should read “Working” to understand how mess up the country has become. The politicians have been selling a false picture of life in the US for years, and people need a hearty dose of reality. Every time I read about the 1950s as a “golden age” in the US I want to puke. There were no “good old days”.

I loved my grandfather’s response to someone asking about the “good old days” – You mean World War I, the Depression, or World War II?