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Terkel’s bestselling oral history book Race: How Blacks & Whites Feel about the American Obsession from 1992 synthesized a topic that was central to him throughout his entire career and the conversations in this topic are among the most meaningful contributions in the archive in helping understand both the great flaws and potential in American society. Decades or centuries in the future Terkel’s conversations about race will provide an essential window into what it felt like to live through a period of painful racial discord and remarkable overcoming. Terkel himself died (on October 31, 2008) just three days before another Chicagoan was elected president of the United States, transcending one of society’s greater racial barriers.