P.S.: Further Thoughts from a Lifetime of Listening

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9781595584236: P.S.: Further Thoughts from a Lifetime of Listening
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Millions of Studs Terkel fans have come to know the prizewinning oral historian through his landmark books—“The Good War”, Hard Times, Working, Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, and many others. Few people realize, however, that much of Studs’s best work was not collected into these thematic volumes and has, in fact, never been published. P.S. brings together these significant and deeply enjoyable writings for the first time.

The pieces in P.S. reflect Studs’s wide-ranging interests and travels, as well as his abiding connection to his hometown, Chicago. Here we have a fascinating conversation with James Baldwin, possibly Studs’s finest interview with an author; pieces on the colorful history and culture of Chicago; vivid portraits of Studs’s heroes and cohorts (including an insightful and still timely interview with songwriter Yip Harburg, known for his “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime”); and the transcript of Studs’s famous broadcast on the Depression, the very moving essence of what was to become Hard Times.

A fitting postscript to a lifetime of listening, P.S. is a truly Terkelesque display of Studs’s extraordinary range of talent and the amazing people he found to talk to.


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About the Author:

Studs Terkel (1912–2008) was an award-winning author and radio broadcaster. He is the author of Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession; Division Street: America, Coming of Age: Growing Up in the Twentieth Century; Talking to Myself: A Memoir of My Times; “The Good War”: An Oral History of World War II; Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do; The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century; American Dreams: Lost and Found; The Studs Terkel Interviews: Film and Theater; Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression; Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a Faith; Giants of Jazz; Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Troubled Times; And They All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc Jockey; Touch and Go: A Memoir; P.S.: Further Thoughts from a Lifetime of Listening; and Studs Terkel’s Chicago, all published by The New Press. He was a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters and a recipient of a Presidential National Humanities Medal, the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a George Polk Career Award, and the National Book Critics Circle 2003 Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award.

From Publishers Weekly:

Cleaning out the office after years of disuse was worthwhile for beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning oral historian Terkel (1912-2008), and even more so for the loyal readers who recently lost him. This collection of previously unpublished essays and interviews shouldn't disappoint. Much of the author's best stories come from his beloved hometown of Chicago, and "Dreamland" is a transporting example, about a 12-year-old Terkel and his big brother's habit of taking the wrong women home from the Dreamland ballroom. His 1961 interview with black author James Baldwin, covering music and politics, is both warm and bitingly honest: says Baldwin, "to be a Negro in this country is really just...never to be looked at." Another highlight, "A Gathering of Survivors," is a discussion of the Great Depression that's especially timely. In just a few pages, Terkel can effortlessly invoke laughter, tears and thoughtful wonder. Some pieces are less successful (an interview with lyricist E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" fame), but fans will be happy to sort them from the gems.
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