Good War: An Oral History of World War II

( 13 )

Overview

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER

OVER FIVE MONTHS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST

Tremendously compelling, somehow dramatic and intimate at the same time
-THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"The Good War" for which Terkel won the Pulitzer Prize, is a testament not only to the experience of war but to the ...

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The Good War: An Oral History of World War II

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Overview

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER

OVER FIVE MONTHS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST

Tremendously compelling, somehow dramatic and intimate at the same time
-THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"The Good War" for which Terkel won the Pulitzer Prize, is a testament not only to the experience of war but to the extraordinary skill of Terkel as interviewer. As always, Terkel's subjects are open and unrelenting in their analyses of themselves and their experiences, producing what People magazine has called "a splendid epic history of World War II." With this volume Terkel expanded his scope to the global and the historical and the result is a masterpiece of oral history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565843431
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 11/28/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 135,401
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in 1912, Studs Terkel grew up in Chicago.  He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1932 and from the University of Chicago Law School in 1934.  He has acted in radio soap operas, been a disk jockey, a radio commentator, a TV emcee, and traveled all over the world doing on-the-spot interviews.  Currently, he has a daily radio program on WFMT in Chicago that is syndicated throughout the country.  He is also the author of American Dreams:  Lost and Found; Working; Hard Times:  An Oral History of the Great Depression; Division Street:  America Giants of Jazz; and Talking to Myself.  The Good War is his fifth oral history.

Biography

As a young boy in the early 1920s, Louis "Studs" Terkel moved with his family from New York to Chicago, the sprawling, high-energy city he would call home for the rest of his life. His parents managed hotels catering to a varied and colorful clientele. Listening to the conversations of the tenants, young Terkel developed an early interest in people and their stories and a wide-ranging intellectual curiosity that would lead him in many directions.

He received his law degree from the University of Chicago, but never became a practicing attorney, Instead, he worked briefly in Washington, D.C., then returned to Chicago to take a job in FDR's Works Progress Administration acting and writing plays. In 1939, he married Ida Goldberg. The marriage endured for 60 years, until Ida's death in 1999. He joined the Army during WWII but was discharged because of perforated eardrums. Around this time, he embarked on a long, varied broadcasting career as a sportscaster, news commentator, and disc jockey. He ventured into TV in the 1950s with a relaxed, breezy variety show that helped define the Chicago School of Television, but returned to radio in 1952 with the a daily program of music and interviews that continued for the next 45 years. Among a constellation of memorable guests were Buster Keaton, Billie Holiday, James Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein, Tennessee Williams, Gloria Steinem, and Bob Dylan.

Although his first book Giants of Jazz was published in 1957, Terkel's writing career began in earnest a decade later with Division Street, a book of transcribed interviews with Chicagoans from every walk of life. Hailed by The New Yorker as "totally absorbing," this groundbreaking study paved the way for bestselling oral histories of the Great Depression (Hard Times), the working class (Working), WWII (the Pulitzer Prize winner The Good War), and growing old in America (Coming of Age). He also penned several memoirs, including Talking to Myself (1977), My American Century (1997), and Touch and Go (2007).

Active and engaged to the end, Terkel died in October of 2008 at the age of 96. In its obituary, the Chicago Tribune reprinted this epigrammatic quote from the iconic writer: "My epitaph? My epitaph will be, 'Curiosity did not kill this cat."

Good To Know

Terkel's famous nickname derives from the fictional character Studs Lonigan from James T. Farrell's 1930s coming-of-age trilogy.

Famously outspoken, Terkel was blacklisted from television during the McCarthy era for his "incendiary" political views. Fortunately, he found a wider audience when he was hired by Chicago's fine arts radio station WFMT, where his program was a daily staple for 45 years.

Instantly recognizable by his attire, Terkel always wore a red-checked shirt, grey trousers, and a blue blazer.

He appeared in Eight Men Out, John Sayles's 1988 film about the Chicago Black Sox Scandal of 1919.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Louis "Studs" Terkel
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 16, 1912
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, NY
    1. Date of Death:
      October 31, 2008
    2. Place of Death:
      Chicago, IL

Table of Contents

Introduction 3
A Sunday Morning 19
A Chance Encounter 38
Tales of the Pacific 59
The Good Reuben James 98
Rosie 108
Neighborhood Boys 135
Reflections on Machismo 166
High Rank 189
The Bombers and the Bombed 198
Growing Up: Here and There 225
D-Day and All That 254
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy 294
Sudden Money 301
The Big Panjandrum 318
Flying High 343
Up Front with Pen, Camera, and Mike 350
Crime and Punishment 387
A Turning Point 444
Chilly Winds 459
Is You is or Is You Ain't My Baby? 505
Remembrance of Things Past 558
Epilogue: Boom Babies and Other New People 574
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2006

    He was a Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B.

    I was sitting in a coffee shop in San Francisco the day the first exerpts (prior to publication of the book) from 'The Good War' first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly. I had just picked up a copy at a newstand and began to read as I settled down with a cup of Java Jive. I heard a sound that got my attention and looked up to see a very dignified gentleman just opposite me reach up with a crisp white handkerchief to wipe a flood of tears from his face. I noticed that he, too, was reading The Atlantic Monthly. I didn't want him to notice me, so I quickly diverted my gaze and returned to the magazine. It wasn't long before my own face was awash with tears. There was a woman that Mr. Terkel had interviewed and one of the most poignant stories I had ever read was told in her 'voice.' It was an interview with Maxene Andrews, of the Andrews Sisters. You really should read the entire book...and especially note this story. It tells a poignant story that certainly touched that gentelman, and me. I'm certain it will touch you, as well.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2012

    superb

    superb

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Highly Recommend, Read this book

    One of the best books I've read with a new twist on WW II, and the stories most of us would never hear except for here.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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