Studs Terkel, 1912 - 2008

Chris's picture

On the eve of one of the most important elections in American history, historian and journalist Studs Terkel died last week. His work wasn't specifically geared toward sexuality, but his death is a loss for anyone who's ever felt like their story wasn't being told in the media. Terkel was best known for his oral histories like Working, The Good War, and Hard Times, which recorded the voices of ordinary Americans talking about the effects that major historical events had on their everyday lives. What I liked about him even more than his approach to history, though, was that he was irascible and unapologetic in his commitment to progressive politics. I find that largely lacking on the left these days; too many people are cautious and even apologetic about their liberalism, as if afraid of being tarred with the "political correctness" tag, or paralyzed by a fear of being unfair and unbalanced. He will be missed by everyone who loves justice and loves what America could be.

For those who haven't had much exposure to Terkel's work, or who want to relive it, WFMU has posted an extensive list of clips of interviews both with and by Studs Terkel over the years.