The extraordinary life and times of an American icon—the Pulitzer Prize-winning oral historian's long-awaited memoir—a major publishing event.
At nearly ninety-five, Studs Terkel has written about everyone's life, it seems, but his own. In Touch and Go, he offers a memoir which—embodying the spirit of the man himself—is youthful, vivacious, and enormous fun.
Terkel begins by taking us back to his early childhood with his father, mother, and two older brothers, describing the hectic life of a family trying to earn a living in Chicago. He then goes on to recall his own experiences—as a poll watcher charged with stealing votes for the Democratic machine, as a young theatergoer, and eventually as an actor himself in both radio and on the stage—giving us a brilliant and often hilarious portrait of the Chicago of the 1920s and '30s. He tells of his beginnings as a disc jockey after World War II and as an interviewer and oral historian—a craft he would come to perfect and indeed personify. Finally, he discusses his involvement with progressive politics, leading inevitably to his travails during the McCarthy period when he was blacklisted and thrown out of work despite having become by then one of the country's most popular TV hosts.
Fans of Studs Terkel will find much to discover in these remarkable reminiscences. Others will be captivated to learn of the unique and eclectic life of one of America's greatest living legends.
Bitter and sweet, sexy and morally uplifting, intimate and historically significant.
In Studs TerkelÕs memoir, reader Norman Dietz doesnÕt try to emulate the author. He becomes him. He doesnÕt try to imitate TerkelÕs gravelly voice, but his tone and timing are similar enough that only listeners well acquainted with the author will ever guess itÕs not Terkel doing the reading. Terkel is a master storyteller, and this shows clearly in his memoir. He takes us back to his childhood in New York and Chicago, the Roaring Ô20s, the Depression, his work in the theater, and his life in journalism and politics. Dietz interprets these stories with the conversational tone of a polished raconteur. A warning, though: This seamlessness in the storytelling makes it hard to find a natural place to turn off the book. Some problem, huh? R.C.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine