Sunday, November 09, 2008

Good Bye Studs Terkel

I've been pondering how to acknowledge the life of Studs Terkel, who died last week at age 96. I first remember becoming explicitly aware of him when I read the book, Working. As I think about it, he has to be one of the influences on me and some of what I do on this blog - particularly documenting the 'ordinary,' especially 'ordinary' people who I find interesting, but wouldn't normally be featured in the news.

KWMD has played a number of recordings of Terkel interviews all week. NPR has done a few pieces, and "This American Life" today also had some great interviews. So, I'll defer to "On the Media" which did what was, for me, the best succinct overview, and which also has embedable audio. "On the Media's" website says this and then goes to the audio:

The Recording of America
November 07, 2008

Studs Terkel, who died recently at the age of 96, spent the majority of his life documenting the lives of others – very often everyday, working-class people he believed were “uncelebrated and unsung.” From coal miners and sharecroppers to gangsters and prostitutes, every American had a story to tell and Terkel wanted to hear it. Publisher Andre Schiffrin talks about Terkel's singular gift for oral history.

[There's about 45 seconds of intro on the audio, then about 10 minutes of show.]

The episode of This American Life should be available Monday on their site. The Terkel piece is one of several in the show - with some fascinating interviews of people who lived through the depression.
[I've corrected the spelling from Turkel to Terkel. Grrrr. Spelling. Editors do serve a purpose.]

1 comment:

  1. I saw Studs Turkel talk when I was in college. He had an amazingly sharp wit and uncanny perceptions about work and life.


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