Books: The Cassettes Go Rolling Along

"THE GOOD WAR" by Studs Terkel; Pantheon; 589 pages; $19.95

Studs Terkel is the man who gave us our oral-history fixation.

Working (People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do) and Hard Times (An Oral History of the Great Depression) hooked a national audience with the transcribed experiences of hundreds of Americans. Some scholars dismissed these books as little more than jumped-up man-in-the-street interviews, strong on emotion and weak on critical framework. The public disagreed. Let the eggheads collect cut-glass generalizations from Tocqueville and Toynbee. Folks read...

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