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The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1595581778
ISBN-10: 1595581774
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A summing up of the best of Terkel." -- Herbert Mitgang --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Studs Terkel is the author of twelve books of oral history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters, he was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. He lives in Chicago.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595581774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595581778
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Studs Terkel (1912-2008) was a free spirit, an outspoken populist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a terrible ham, and one of the best-loved characters on the American scene. Born in New York in 1912, he lived in Chicago for over eight decades. His radio show was carried on stations throughout the country.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jack Schelin on October 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
...than to re-read, in this inspired anthology, the best of Studs Terkel's oral histories (which is to say the best of the best)? This volume samples interviews/oral histories from Mr. Terkel's remarkable books, each a different perspective on an aspect of American life. Overall, his interviews pose a paradox--not a troubling one, but a reassuring one---perhaps expressed best as a question: How is it that we, each of us as individuals, how is that we each are so full of foibles, fallacies, oddities, meanness, illusions, and yet so full of wisdom, grace, insight, joy, and compassion? The genius of his work, for me, is that this isn't some kind of sentimental claptrap, but an ongoing lively pulse built into the people to whom he gave voice. Mr. Terkel's life and work showed more than anything else that those two sets of attributes are not exclusive but rather are interdependent, necessary complements. Is it too much to compare this kind of achievement to Shakespeare's or Milton's or Bach's? Yep, absolutely. But even so ....

May this icon of Chicago, yet son of New York City (he was born in the Bronx) rest in eternity's solace. May we remain moved by what this gentle and great man was able to help us reveal. In the end, Studs, ora pro nobis.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Studs Terkel spent his life collecting stories: not the grand picturesque stories, but the dirty, gritty, everyday stories that perhaps matter the most. Traveling throughout America he listened to everyone and anyone he could, from a young Bob Dylan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, to poor industry workers and begging women on the street. He had a gift of being there for people who had something to say, and collected every single personal story as if it was more meaningful than a bucket of gold in the midst of the Great Depression.This book is a collection of his stories, an oral history of XX century America, seen not through the eyes o historians, but by those who lived in the mansions, houses, and gutters of the time.
A touching account and echoing voice of past time, recounted in a way that is both humanely sensitive, and immensely observant of America's diversity, conflict, inequality, struggle, and success. But do not expect a historical narrative! You will find no single argument, no single voice, only a kaleidoscope of personalities that make up this nation.
Suitable for anyone interested in America, modernity, and it's history, or simply for those who share Studs' love for people and observation. Also, due to the fact that many of these stories were originally radio interviews, it's a great starting point to thinking about spoken language, oral history, and voicing the past.
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By Rabbit the Reader on February 7, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Always interesting, always thoughtful, not really oral history, it's too edited. So what?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arthur S. Ratcliffe on June 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This e-version of Studs Terkel's Reader has so many typo's in it that it is almost indecipherable in parts. Whoever transcribed it from the print edition should be fired. Great material, terrible transcription.
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