Well, That Just Sucks

... which means cynicism goes first, right?Sad news: Studs Terkel has died.

Not that anyone should be terribly surprised by the death of a 96-year-old man — peacefully, in his home — but it’s sad that he won’t be around to see the results of Tuesday’s election, and to talk to people about it.

Talking to people was what he did better than almost anyone else, and then he took his tape recorder home and turned those conversations into a series of books, organized by subject.

Taken as a whole, those books constitute a comprehensive oral history of 20th-century America. Well, not history, exactly, as much as an ongoing conversation about what America was at that moment, and was on its way to becoming. If journalism is the first draft of history, Studs Terkel was its greatest draughtsman.