Archive for the ‘Truth Oral History’ Tag

Studs Terkel, An American Who Told The Truth   1 comment



Robert Shetterly has painted a collection of “Americans Who Tell The Truth. I just learned about Robert  because one of his portraits is that of Studs Terkel. Each painting includes a quote.  The Studs quote is:

“Perhaps it is this specter that most haunts working men and women: the planned obsolescence of people that is of a piece with the planned obsolescence of the things they make. Or sell. It is perhaps this fear of no longer being needed in a world of needless things that most clearly spells out the unnaturalness, the surreality of much that is called work today.”

In his “Artist’s Statement,” Shetterly writes: De Toqueville said, “America is great because it is good. When it ceases to be good, it will cease to be great.” A democracy, whose leaders and media do not try to tell the people the truth, is a democracy in name only. If the consent of voters is gained through fear and lies, America is neither good nor great. Nor is it America.”  He goes on to say,

“The more I’ve learned about American history — past and present — the more people I’ve discovered whom I want to honor in this way. The paintings will not be for sale. They will stay together as a group.  The courage of these individuals needs to remain a part of a great tradition, a united effort in respect for the truth. Eventually, I will give the portraits to one museum or library on the condition that they continue to be shown. These people form the well from which we must draw our future.”

Learn more about this remarkable collection at:


Posted November 3, 2008 by kenneturner in Commentary, Information

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