Studs Terkel

(Louis "Studs" Terkel)

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
A man comes from New York. He says, "These petitions, your name is on all of them: anti-poll tax, anti-lynching, friendship with the Soviet Union.... don't you know the communists were behind them?" And he said, "Look, you can get out of this pretty easy. All you got to do is say the communists duped you. You were dumb. You didn't mean it." I said, "But I did mean it! Secrecy & Transparency
The key issue is jobs. You can't get away from it: jobs. Having a buck or two in your pocket and feeling like somebody. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
You know, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"? It's the same with powerlessness. Absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely. Power
All the other books ask, 'What's it like?' What was World War II like for the young kid at Normandy, or what is work like for a woman having a job for the first time in her life? What's it like to be black or white? Life ;Time ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
But once you become active in something, something happens to you. You get excited and suddenly you realize you count.
Chicago is not the most corrupt American city. It's the most theatrically corrupt.
I always love to quote Albert Einstein because nobody dares contradict him. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I hope for peace and sanity - it's the same thing. Hope ;War & Peace
I hope that memory is valued - that we do not lose memory. Hope
I think it's realistic to have hope. One can be a perverse idealist and say the easiest thing: 'I despair. The world's no good.' That's a perverse idealist. It's practical to hope, because the hope is for us to survive as a human species. That's very realistic. Hope
I thought, if ever there were a time to write a book about hope, it's now. Time ;Hope
I want a language that speaks the truth. Truth
I want people to talk to one another no matter what their difference of opinion might be.
I want to praise activists through the years. I praise those of the past as well, to have them honored.
I want, of course, peace, grace, and beauty. How do you do that? You work for it. War & Peace ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
If solace is any sort of succor to someone, that is sufficient. I believe in the faith of people, whatever faith they may have. Religion & God
I'm not up on the Internet, but I hear that is a democratic possibility. People can connect with each other. I think people are ready for something, but there is no leadership to offer it to them. People are ready to say, 'Yes, we are part of a world.' Leaders & Leadership
I've always felt, in all my books, that there's a deep decency in the American people and a native intelligence - providing they have the facts, providing they have the information.
Nonetheless, do I have respect for people who believe in the hereafter? Of course I do. I might add, perhaps even a touch of envy too, because of the solace. Respect
People are ready to say, 'Yes, we are ready for single-payer health insurance.' We are the only industrialized country in the world that does not have national health insurance. We are the richest in wealth and the poorest in health of all the industrial nations. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Religion obviously played a role in this book and the previous book, too. Religion & God
So people are ready. I feel hopeful in that sense.
Someone who does an act. In a democratic society, you're supposed to be an activist; that is, you participate. It could be a letter written to an editor. Society
That's what we're missing. We're missing argument. We're missing debate. We're missing colloquy. We're missing all sorts of things. Instead, we're accepting.
That's why I wrote this book: to show how these people can imbue us with hope. I read somewhere that when a person takes part in community action, his health improves. Something happens to him or to her biologically. It's like a tonic. Hope ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine
We are the most powerful nation in the world, but we're not the only nation in the world. We are not the only people in the world. We are an important people, the wealthiest, the most powerful and, to a great extent, generous. But we are part of the world.
We use the word 'hope' perhaps more often than any other word in the vocabulary: 'I hope it's a nice day.' 'Hopefully, you're doing well.' 'So how are things going along? Pretty good. Going to be good tomorrow? Hope so.' Hope
When you become part of something, in some way you count. It could be a march; it could be a rally, even a brief one. You're part of something, and you suddenly realize you count. To count is very important.
Why are we born? We're born eventually to die, of course. But what happens between the time we're born and we die? We're born to live. One is a realist if one hopes. Time
With optimism, you look upon the sunny side of things. People say, 'Studs, you're an optimist.' I never said I was an optimist. I have hope because what's the alternative to hope? Despair? If you have despair, you might as well put your head in the oven. Hope
You happen to be talking to an agnostic. You know what an agnostic is? A cowardly atheist.