Labour Research October 2004


Hope dies last

Making a difference in an indifferent world

Studs Terkel, Granta Books, 352 pages, hardback, £14.99

Oral historian Studs Terkel has once again brought together a diverse section of the American population to talk about fundamental questions such as: where does hope spring from?

Terkel talks to well known figures such as "retired" economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who gave us the phrase "private affluence and public squalor", and Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.

But it is the ordinary working people who light up this book. And the Bread and Roses section, where he talks to union activists, will be of particular interest to readers.

However, the last word should go to investigative journalist Herb Mitgang who calls poverty "the worst terrorism of all". George W Bush take note.