Monday, November 03, 2008

Here's To You, Studs Terkel!

I was remiss over the weekend, in not acknowledging, and giving a shout out to Studs Terkel.

Terkel passed away last Friday, at the age of 96, and, boy, what a life he had.

A television institution for years, a radio staple for decades, a literary lion since 1967, when he wrote his first best-selling book at the age of 55, Terkel was born in New York City on May 16, 1912. "I came up the year the Titanic went down," he would often say.
Mary Dudziak's post, notes "My epitaph? My epitaph will be 'Curiosity did not kill this cat,' Studs Terkel once said."

From the NYT;
In his oral histories, which he called guerrilla journalism, Mr. Terkel relied on his enthusiastic but gentle interviewing style to elicit, in rich detail, the experiences and thoughts of his fellow citizens. Over the decades, he developed a continuous narrative of great historic moments sounded by an American chorus in the native vernacular.

Although detractors derided him as a sentimental populist whose views were simplistic and occasionally maudlin, Mr. Terkel was widely credited with transforming oral history into a popular literary form. In 1985 a reviewer for The Financial Times of London characterized his books as “completely free of sociological claptrap, armchair revisionism and academic moralizing.”

It is really a shame he couldn't have hung in there another week, time to his Barack Obama elected President, supported, largely, by the working stiffs, the everyday people, he wrote about so often, and so passionately.

Barry Crimmins reminds us today;
The late, great Studs Terkel suggested Barack Obama read FDR's Second Inaugural Address. For Studs and for us, please take a look.

Studs Terkel was a giant, in every essence of the word, passing at time when there are so few.

Here's to you, Studs Terkel!

Thanks for sharing your great life!

Studs Terkel: Conversations with America

Books by Studs Terkel

Tula Connell: Remembering Studs Terkel

Dave Schuler: Take It Easy But Take It

No comments: