The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century
With a foreword by Robert Coles and a preface by Calvin Trillin.
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 Great Divide, Hard Times, Race, and Working, this "greatest hits" volume is a treasury of Terkel's most memorable subjects that will delight his many lifelong fans and provide a perfect introduction for those who have not yet experienced the joy of reading Studs Terkel. It includes an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Coles surveying Terkel's overall body of work and a new foreword by Calvin Trillin.
"An informal epic of Terkel's near century [with a] cinematic vividness that tells you more than a shelf of standard history books." —Entertainment Weekly
thing with Martin Luther King. They asked the opinion of our great President, Harry Truman, and he said this guy was strictly a troublemaker, period. I thought Truman was marvelous. Because he was a guy that come up in the capitalistic system of politics from nothing to a giant. And this is the way our system works. From Daley here, from Kelly before him, from Nash before him...from the two Irishmen, Hinky Dink and Bathhouse John.46 Boss Tweed in New York and what’s his name in Boston—Curley.
beautiful feeling of solidarity. You’d see the people on the picket lines at four in the morning, at the camp fires, heating up beans and coffee and tortillas. It gave me a sense of belonging. These were my own people and they wanted change. I knew this is what I was looking for. I just didn’t know it before. My mom had always wanted me to better myself. I wanted to better myself because of her. Now when the strikes started, I told her I was going to join the union and the whole movement. I
players have careful self-doubts at times. We talk about our sagging egos. Are we really that famous? Are we really that good? We have terrible doubts. [Laughs.] Actors may have something of this. Did I do well? Am I worth this applause? Is pushing the puck around really that meaningful? [Laughs.] When I’m not pushing that puck well, how come the fans don’t like me? [Laughs.] Then there’s the reverse reaction—a real brashness. They’re always rationalizing to each other. That’s probably necessary.
Scribner’s. High class. Then he suddenly stopped. I came to New York to help my husband with his small printing business. I tried to write the great American novel. Well, I wrote it, but I couldn’t sell it. I gave up writing and typed reports for a large insurance company. I was fifty-three and said I was forty-two. They were already funny about age. About thirteen years ago, when I was eighty, I started writing again. A teacher at a senior club set me off. Almost at once, I began to sell to
the men would break. The women studied the men’s faces secretly, because the corn could go, as long as something else remained. (The Grapes of Wrath, Chapter One) What was that something else? It had something to do with respect for Self; sought from those dear to him and at least a semblance of it demanded from the Others. It was something he had to husband and preserve by himself, alone. Therein lay the fatal flaw; a fault he had to discover the hard way. A half century later, Carolyn