The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century
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The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  180 ratings  ·  20 reviews
"A summing up of the best of Terkel."�Herbert Mitgang, Doubletake

The Studs Terkel Reader, originally published under the title My American Century, collects the best interviews from eight of Terkel's classic oral histories together with his magnificent introductions to each work. Featuring selections from American Dreams, Coming of Age, Division Street, "The Good War", The...more
Paperback, 532 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by New Press, The (first published 1997)
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Stuart Ross
Sep 18, 2007 Stuart Ross rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: my life story types
This is much more engrossing than I thought it would be. Can't remember the last time I carried at 535 page book around with glee.
This is a "best of" Studs Terkel's most influential works. Terkel's writing showcases ordinary people and reveals what life is like for them through taped interviews he transcribes and seamlessly knits together. Mostly his chapters feel like monologues--almost as if people living at key points in history suddenly reflected on their times and what has seemed most important. For purists, this collection may be leaving out some great moments from the other books. This collection is a great place to...more
Overwhelming, but enriching. Studs is all about labor unions, and racial injustices, and the hand-holding-helping days of the early 20th century, and progessive ideas, and hope. This book goes well with a side dish of Pete Seeger, because their concerns are awfully alike. More importantly, both use(d) their own voice to lift up the common, collective voice, Pete in his concert sing-alongs and Studs in the oral histories collected here.
Good stuff. The only other book of his I'd read was Working, plus listening to some of his interviews here and there. This one is his "best of," with interviews from all his books plus the introductions to each book. The net result is a higher percentage of direct Terkel writing than usual, which is okay by me. It really is a decent social-historical glance at the century, and he's so good at getting good details out of people.
I liked this book, because I love people telling their own stories. The intros written by Studs himself were too long and unfocused in my opinion. Also, the vast majority of entries focused on class. Class is an important issue in America and everywhere else, but come on, it isn't the only issue. I got really bored of reading whether somebody was rich or poor and skipped a lot of stories for this reason.
Though this reader is good for my students, the excerpts are frequently too short and don't include some important interviews. The excerpt from Race doesn't include the prologue by Mamie Moblie, Emmit Till's mother. It's probably good for Terkel newcomers, but if you're interested in one of the eras or events or topics he covers, I'd recommend reading the full book.
A wonderful compilation of some of the great interviews by Studs Terkel. At times moving and at others infuriating, a priceless look into the lives of ordinary Americans throughout the century. I recommend skipping the introductions to each section, because they "spoil" some of the great quotables and personalities from some of the interviews.
Author Terkel's historical documentary composed of personal stories and memoirs from people all over the country. Most stories tell of major historical events, such as wars or the Depression. Interesting to read everyday people's accounts of major life events. Nice to pick up and read a story or two every now and then.
Studs Terkel, writer, philosopher, interviewer and lecturer has served up a great feast that makes me feel overstuffed. Sometimes I wanted to swallow it up so the words would become part of me and help me grow. Sometimes I wanted to pass, "No thank you, I'm allergic."
Tim Thrailkill
Studs' chronicles of America have preserved tales of everyday America , the toils, aspirations, dreams and voices. Clearly an influence on Ken Burns, Terkel's missives paint modern America for the reader in a kaleidoscope of the lives of yesteryear.'
Studs Terkel is simplly amazing. I need to read more of his books (if anyone has any they'd like to donate). Not to sound trite, but he truly is an American treasure. I cannot recommend him highly enough.
I dig Studs Terkel and the discussion at book club was great, but, yeah, did not read this at all. studs rode in the car with me for a month, tho. He was a good passenger.
I found the translation (for lack of a better term) from oral story telling to the written word distracting. No stars to give.
Mary Kathryn
The stories and oral histories were really interesting, but too much Studs - he sounded like a cranky old man.
Leonard Pierce
Studs Terkel is a national treasure, and this is as good a place as any to start with his trademark oral histories.
An incredible overview of key pieces of 20th century American history. I can't wait to read more.
Scott Pakudaitis
This book is jam-packed with wisdom and insight into American culture and experiences.
Beth Shields-Szostak
signed & inscribed by author; pages are bound in correct order but inserted upside down
lol i havent read this but it has a real funny name
Fantastic book told in Studs down to earth style.
Dec 30, 2009 Steven added it
Did not finish, not due to quality, due to life.
Alicia marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2014
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Apr 16, 2014
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Apr 15, 2014
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Terkel won the Pulitzer prize in 1985 for his interviews with ordinary people in such books as Working, The Good War, and Hard Times. Often called an Oral Historian, Studs Terkel preferred to be known for playing music on the radio.
More about Studs Terkel...
Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do The Good War: An Oral History of World War II Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression Division Street: America Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Difficult Times

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