Dreams Adulterated by PropagandanStuds Terkel: American DreamsnLast and Found; Pantheon Books;nNew York.nby Mike LavellenA. tape recorder, selective interviewsnand selective editing can be the ingredientsnof a pop sociology and a best-sellingnbook. Studs Terkel is neither an authornnor a sociopolitical sage, thoughnhe is celebrated as both by the liberalnmedia eager for a reflection of their liberalnviews. Studs Terkel is a clevernpropagandist with a merchant’s eye andna pseudo-Marxist feel for the Zeitgeist.nHe is much aware of the media fondnessnfor fads. In the first chapter ofnAmerican Dreams Lost and Found, Terkelnpays homage to the feminist disdainnfor the beauty contest. We meet a formernbeauty queen (Miss U.S.A. 1973) who,nin retrospect, discovers that: “For manyngirls who enter the contest, it’s part ofnthe American Dream. It was nevernmine.” She also compares herself to antable lamp and proclaims that she hatesnto curl her hair. Ms. magazine and PhilnDonahue couldn’t have said it better.nIf she had said, “Gee whiz. I loved it,”nshe wouldn’t have been in Terkel’s book.nWe meet a labor organizer who saysnof the mid’30’s, “Here we had the richestncountry in the world, and we werenhungry. At least people were not goingnhungry in the Soviet Union.” In thenmid-30’s, Stalin’s program of forced collectivizationnand slaughter of the kulaksn(small farmers) caused a massive faminenin the Soviet Union which was responsiblenfor the deaths of approximately 15nmillion people. No questions, no historynlesson from Studs Terkel.nWe are introduced to an AmericannIndian woman who connects the My Lainmassacre of the Vietnam war with thenMr. Lavelle is the author of The ManynFaces of Jane Fonda, to be released bynGreen Hill Publishers in spring, 1981.n18nChronicles of CulturenIndian wars of the last century. EvilnAmerica catches it again. There is nonmention by Studs Terkel of the genocidenin Cambodia undertaken by thenKhmer Rouge nor of the totalitariannhammer atomizing Vietnam nor thengeneral conditions of present-day SoutheastnAsia. In fact, in this book of interviewsncollected and edited by Studs Terkel,nVietnam is hardly mentioned andnonly then with a left-wing perspective,nand without even the slightest attemptnat objectification, which could adjustnthe perspective in light of what has happenednduring the last five years.nSince 1975, thousands of SoutheastnAsian refugees have settled in America.nIt’s a safe assumption that they couldngive some stunning insights into thenAmerican Dream and the totalitariannnightmare that they fled. There is notnone Vietnamese, Cambodian or Laotiannrefugee who appears in this book. Cannanyone imagine a book entitled AmericannDreams Lost and Found written betweenn1945 and 1950 without even oneninterview with a European emigre concerningnhis impressions of America andn•• I’ciki’l knows whi-rc lo fine! America . .nhis memories of Nazi horrors? Such anbook would have been ignored and/or silentlynscorned (rightly so) by book reviewersnand by the mass media. But today,nthe media have shifted so far to thenleft that an Orwellian corruption of historynby omission gets a further Orwellianntwist by not even having that omissionnnoted by fawning TV interviewersnor newspeak book reviewers. Certainly anbook of 470 pages with 101 interviewsnof Americans from all strata of societynshould have included at least one SoutheastnAsian refugee. It’s amazing thatnthe liberals who are constantly blatheringnabout the “people’s right to know”nseem to feel that we don’t need to knownwhat “peace” has brought to SoutheastnAsia.nnnOtuds Terkel does more than merelyncompile selective voyeuristic collectionsnof interviews for his various books. Henhas been associated with the media fornwell over 30 years as an actor, musicncritic and currently as a talk-show hostnon WFMT in Chicago. I have seen himnoperate before a college audience andndamn near convince them that the workingnclass in America was storming thensocialist gates to Utopia. His booksnWorking, Division Street and AmericannDreams were the backdrops—the expertise.nThe college kids, eager for contactnwith the “real world,” would be satisfiednwith a counterfeit reality and even morenso when their professors told them thatnthis vox populi guru had his finger onnthe grassroots pulse of America. ThenTerkel patter is a mix of socialist MichaelnHarrington and circus showmannP. T. Barnum. Abbie Hoffman, stillnscratching at his diaper rash, referrednto Terkel as “My good buddy” on a Chicagon(“Kup’s Show”) TV program.nI have listened to the Studs Terkeln— CinnnioHirei//nshow on WFMT for a good part of thenlast ten years and I have rarely heard annoriginal idea expressed by him or by anynof his guests. The program is partiallynfunded by public tax dollars, but the publicnis seldom represented. What is primarilynheard is a constant repetition ofnthe same theme: an exercise in hownmany ways to say socialism withoutnnaming it and how to preach nationalnpacifism without mentioning the consequencesnof Auschwitz, Vorkuta, Cambodia,nMunich and Yalta. No dissent tonTerkel’s view is ever heard; complaintsnare simply handled with the claim ofn”Studs’s free and inquiring spirit.”nYet the politics of Terkel are verynmuch out of sync with those of the groupn