Studs Terkel: Voices of Our Time

Overview

From the 1950s through 1997, Louis ?Studs? Terkel, bestselling author of Hard Times, Working, The Great War, Coming of Age, and eight other books, hosted a daily one-hour show on WFMT Radio in Chicago. This nationally syndicated, Peabody Award-winning program was an ideal showcase for his curmudgeonly wit, his maverick opinions, and his genius as an interviewer.

The 48 interviews in this collection, span Terkel?s five decades on radio and encompass a wide range of entertainers, ...

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Overview

From the 1950s through 1997, Louis “Studs” Terkel, bestselling author of Hard Times, Working, The Great War, Coming of Age, and eight other books, hosted a daily one-hour show on WFMT Radio in Chicago. This nationally syndicated, Peabody Award-winning program was an ideal showcase for his curmudgeonly wit, his maverick opinions, and his genius as an interviewer.

The 48 interviews in this collection, span Terkel’s five decades on radio and encompass a wide range of entertainers, scientists, writers and thinkers, including Dorothy Parker, Pete Seeger, Bob Woodward, Simone de Beauvoir, and many more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565119697
  • Publisher: HighBridge Company
  • Publication date: 5/5/2005
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Original radio broadcast; 7.5 hours on 6 CDs
  • Pages: 450
  • Sales rank: 1,006,621
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 5.88 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet 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.

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

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2005

    OUTSTANDING LISTENING

    Even today, when celebrity revelations droppeth like the gentle rain, Studs Terkel stands head and shoulders above other interviewers. He had a knack. He could get people to say things they hadn't planned on saying. Terkel knew precisely what to ask, and how to ask it. Those are my words - the Chicago Sun Times said it better: 'Studs Terkel (gets) people to say things in such a way that you know at once they have finally said their truth, and said it better than they ever believed they could say it.' Trained as a lawyer, experienced as an actor, and a best-selling author, Terkel spent half a century on his Chicago based Peabody Award winning syndicated radio program. He brought together people from all walks of life, artists, writers, philosophers, inventors, and visited with each of them as they recounted their triumphs and failures. Now, 48 of these original interviews have been gathered for our enjoyment - it's a treat to hear the stories of those who influenced our world in their own voices. We hear R. Buckminster Fuller, Woody Allen, Gore Vidal, Eudora Welty, Dorothy Parker, Bertrand Russell, Leonard Bernstein, and a host of others. Exemplary listening pleasure! - Gail Cooke

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