Working: People Talk about What They Do All Day and How They Feel about What They Do

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Overview

Studs Turkel records the voices of America. Men and women from every walk of life talk to him, telling him of their likes and dislikes, fears, problems, and happinesses on the job. Once again, Turkel has created a rich and unique document that is as simple as conversation, but as subtle and heartfelt as the meaning of our lives....
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Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do

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Overview

Studs Turkel records the voices of America. Men and women from every walk of life talk to him, telling him of their likes and dislikes, fears, problems, and happinesses on the job. Once again, Turkel has created a rich and unique document that is as simple as conversation, but as subtle and heartfelt as the meaning of our lives....
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

NY Times Book Review
An enormous amount of exciting material. . . . An incredible abundance of marvelous beings. . . . A very special electricity and emotional power. (The New York Times Book Review)
Wall Street Journal
Remarkable . . . the range is enormous. . . . Work is the theme and we learn a lot about these trades. (The Wall Street Journal)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565843424
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 230,434
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 1.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Studs Terkel
Studs Terkel
One of the greatest oral historians of the 20th century, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, actor, and broadcaster Studs Terkel was a national treasure and a beloved institution in his native Chicago. His award-winning books, based on conversations with Americans from all walks of life, form a unique chronicle of a nation in the throes of socio-political change.

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
Preface I: Who Built the Pyramids?
Preface II: Who Spread the News
Preface III: The Mason
Working the Land
Communications
A Pecking Order
Did You Ever Hear the One about the Farmer's Daughter?
The Commercial
Cleaning Up
Watching
The Demon Lover
Appearance
Counting
Footwork
Just a Housewife
The Quiet Life
Brokers
Bureaucracy
Organizer
The Sporting Life
In Charge
Ma and Pa Courage
Reflections on Idleness and Retirement
The Age of Charlie Blossom
Cradle to the Grave
The Quiz Kid and the Carpenter
In Search of a Calling
Second Chance
Fathers and Sons
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

4 Star

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3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 16, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Real people with real things to say. You'll gain an insight into what everyday people experience as they work and live. Couldn't put it down. Studs is Pulitzer material.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2013

    I like this article ┬┐People Talk about What They Do All Day and

    I like this article “People Talk about What They Do All Day and How They Feel about What They Do” in most parts. Specifically - I like () I think the author should really read the latest book “The 5-STAR Business Network” by Vivek Sood in which he discusses this topic in great deal of detail. I read the summary on Goodreads and seems like the author is arguing exactly the same point, but not as coherently. I like this article “Once again, Turkel has created a rich and unique document that is as simple as conversation, but as subtle and heartfelt as the meaning of our lives” in most parts. Specifically - I like () I think the author should really read the latest book “The 5-STAR Business Network” by Vivek Sood in which he discusses this topic in great deal of detail. I read the summary on Goodreads and seems like the author is arguing exactly the same point, but not as coherently.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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