Monday, December 08, 2008

What is Thomas Sugrue reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Thomas Sugrue, author of the recently released Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North.

His entry opens:
A little over a month ago, the greatest American journalist of my lifetime, Studs Terkel, passed on. It was an untimely death, not because of his advanced age (he was 96), but because his life's work was unfinished. The week after he died, I pulled out my beaten up copies of his books and began re-reading. No one was a truer democrat. Terkel found wisdom, irony, and tragedy in ordinary folks talking about their lives. Terkel was a romantic in his hope that if we only listened to the people, we could learn from them. But he did not condescend to his subjects or whitewash their imperfections. His book, Race, punctured the conventional pieties of "we have overcome" America. Terkel's interviews in Working captured the....[read on]
Read an excerpt from Sweet Land of Liberty, and learn more about the book at the publisher's website.

Thomas J. Sugrue is a historian at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is currently Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor of History and Sociology. Sugrue’s first book, The Origins of the Urban Crisis, won the prestigious Bancroft Prize in American History, the President’s Book Award of the Social Science History Association, the Philip Taft Prize in Labor History, and the Urban History Association Prize for Best Book in North American Urban History.

Writers Read: Thomas Sugrue.

--Marshal Zeringue