I'll always remember my introduction to the works of the late Studs Terkel, who passed away yesterday at the age of 96. I was in sixth grade and browsing the stacks at my middle school library when I noticed a book called "Working Studs". Needless to say, I was surprised to see such a subversive work of non-fiction at a middle school library until I took a second look and discovered that it was the classic "Working" by Studs Terkel. This remembrance of Terkel, which aired on NPR yesterday, includes Terkel recounting a time that one of Jerry Falwell's minions called a library in Georgia to complain about a pornographic book called "Working Studs" by someone named Terkel. I guess I had the potential to be a great moralizing ignoramus from a young age. If only someone would have recognized that and nurtured me down that path.
I've never read "Working" (or "Working Studs", for that matter), though I did read this book during a lapse in employment several years ago. It's written in the same style as Working and bills itself as something of a modern day remake of the classic. I gave Michelle a copy of "Working" for Christmas last year, so I'm sure I'll get around to reading it once the statute of limitations on reclaiming a gift that you gave someone else expires and/or I ever finish "Infinite Jest".