“With optimism, you look upon the sunny side of things. People say, ‘Studs, you’re an optimist.’ I never said I was an optimist. I have hope because what’s the alternative to hope? Despair? If you have despair, you might as well put your head in the oven.”
Terkel, who was best known for his oral history of the Great Depression and his chronicles of the American Everyman, died Friday at the age of 96.