Terkel continues, “It was not just a question about being American but about being thinking Americans. That was Norman Corwin. The assumption was that we are a thoughtful people.”

Clarification: We originally reported that the line “Post proofs that brotherhood is not so wild a dream as those who profit by postponing it pretend” was written by Corwin for an all-network radio broadcast. In fact, the program for which the line was written, On a Note of Triumph, was, at first, only broadcast on CBS Radio. However, the program proved so popular that a live encore performance was broadcast five days later on the CBS, NBC, Blue, and Mutual networks. The relevant sentence has been corrected. CJR regrets the error.

Michael Antonoff writes about technology. He is a former magazine editor and newspaper reporter who now creates Web content for BHphoto.com.