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The Great Divide: Second Thoughts on the…
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The Great Divide: Second Thoughts on the American Dream (original 1988; udgave 1988)

af Studs Terkel

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A series of essays on the state of the United States at the end of the Reagan era.
Medlem:ironrail
Titel:The Great Divide: Second Thoughts on the American Dream
Forfattere:Studs Terkel
Info:Pantheon Books (1988), Paperback
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:u.s. history / politics

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The Great Divide: Second Thoughts on the American Dream af Studs Terkel (1988)

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The Great Divide refers to the mountain ranges that divide the North American continent in two. Terkel also uses it to describe the division between the American people: the haves, the have-somewhats, and the have-nots. In this book, published in 1988, he interviews average Americans (most of whom are from the Chicago area, or at least the Midwest) and asks them what they think about society and history. Major themes include political activism, race relations, religion, education, unions, Vietnam, and relationships with family and neighbors. Most of the people interviewed strongly express the idea that change is needed if we want to keep the world from destroying itself.

Two of the most interesting people interviewed were Jean Gump and her husband, Joe. Jean, a mother and grandmother, walked into an American military missile storage silo with other protesters and peacefully damaged the missile. She wanted her grandchildren to live in a better world. She was interviewed from prison, where she was serving an eight year sentence, which was later reduced to six years. Her actions inspired her husband to do the same thing, and he served two and a half years in prison. Their story received almost no press coverage. I was curious and did an internet search on them to see if their message of peace ever got out to the public. There’s no entry on Wikipedia, and there doesn’t seem to be very much else out there, either.

I really enjoy Terkel’s books because they show how average people experienced history. He lets them tell their own stories and lets the readers draw their own conclusions without jamming his own point of view down our throats. I’d like to say he’s an impartial observer of American society, but he has just as much stake in it as the rest of us do. The people he interviews are always very diverse; they come from all social classes, ages, and races and have a wide range of political and religious viewpoints. In this book there were a few people I really wanted to punch, but many more that I wanted to sit down and talk with myself.
( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
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In the making of this book (and even while considering it), I was burdened with doubts far more disturbing than any I had ever experienced earlier.
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A series of essays on the state of the United States at the end of the Reagan era.

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