Friday, December 08, 2006

Oral histories

Jeff Kisseloff is the author of the oral history, Generation on Fire.

He named six of the better
works in that genre for The Week magazine.

Here are two of his choices:
The Good War by Studs Terkel

Selecting one Studs Terkel book is like picking out the best pistachio nut from the pile. They’re all great, but The Good War, which got Studs a long-deserved Pulitzer, stands out. Unvarnished and unsentimental, these interviews tell us that the good guys weren’t always so good. They never are.
The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence S. Ritter

When I was 18, I had no idea what I wanted to be. When I was 20, I knew. What happened in between? I read this oral history of early 20th-century baseball. Ritter’s seamless interviews made it look so easy, but he had to be real good to get these tough old birds to talk. Glory evokes an era that seemed prehistoric when it was published in 1966. Now, it would be like interviewing the ’62 Mets, demonstrating that the stories don’t get old, reporters do.
Click here to read about Kisseloff's other picks.

--Marshal Zeringue