Drawn from the work of StoryCorps, the largest and most ambitious oral history project in American history, comes this tapestry of the stories Americans have been sharing from their lives to leave behind to their loved ones.
In its two permanent public recording booths in New York City, at Grand Central and at Ground Zero, and its two mobile booths touring the country, StoryCorps, the most ambitious oral history project in American history, has collected the memories of people from all fifty states and every imaginable walk of life, background, identity group, age, and state of mind-more than ten-thousand in all. It is a wondrous nationwide celebration of our shared humanity, capturing for posterity the stories that define us and bond us together. In small towns and big cities, from Indian reservations in the Pacific Northwest to army bases in North Carolina, StoryCorps has brought people together to share the treasures of their lives in story.
In Listening Is an Act of Love, Dave Isay selects the most remarkable stories from the entire astonishing pool of memories. He arranges them thematically to form a mosaic of American life and binds them together with the history and principles of the StoryCorps project. The voices here connect us to a broad range of real people whose lives are filled with ordinary, extraordinary things-joy, sadness, courage, meaning, despair, good work and bad work, good times and hard times.
To read this book is to be reminded how wildly varied and interesting Americans really are, how resistant to easy categorization and caricatures. Above all, this book is a way to honor the gift of meaning that each participant in StoryCorps has made, out of the raw stuff of his or her life, to the people who come after. In a very real sense, we are our history, individually and collectively, as Listening Is an Act of Love so powerfully reminds us.