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The life and work of Studs Terkel

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The economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said of Pulitzer Prize-winning author and oral historian Studs Terkel that he "is more than a writer; he is a national resource." But Terkel saw himself as a teller of stories – the stories of others.

Terkel died on Friday in Chicago at the age of 96. He leaves behind him a rich legacy of American stories, told both in print and on the air. Among his numerous books some titles stand out: "Hard Times" published in 1970, "Working" (1974), "American Dreams: Lost and Found" (1980), and "The Good War" (1984) for which he won the Pulitzer Prize.

"The Good War" recorded oral histories from World War II veterans. In reviewing it for the Monitor, James Kaufman wrote that, "Like [Terkel's] earlier oral histories, 'The Good War' is alive with the feeling of history rather than fact.... The difference between regular history and Terkel's oral history is like the difference between reading a box score and actually seeing the game. There is life here, not statistics."

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