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Studs Terkel's passing leaves a large gap in our ability to understand each other. He was able to get past all the usual barriers to communication, with his old tape recorder on he would get to the heart of what all kinds of people were feeling and thinking. This book is a treasure to read.This is a stream of consciousness account of an amazing life with interactions with the people he met and talked with along the way. One of my favorite accounts was when Studs began a conversation with a waite...
An outward-focused memoir. Instead of retelling key events in his own development, Terkel puts forth hundreds of vignettes about other people--moments and conversations that got him thinking. And because this is Studs Terkel those people range from random bartenders to Martin Luther King Jr. The book was dictated to mixed results. You can hear Terkel's old school Chicago cadence in the written word, but his stream of consciousness is sometimes hard to follow. Still, it's well worth reading for T...
There's a reason Studs Terkel makes oral history (or tape recording) look so easy. He understands the elements of a good story. And he's incredibly brilliant. Not only brilliant, his heart is in the right place -- Studs is one of those old school, meat eating, hard-drinking liberals that finds no real distinction between criminals and politicians, except that he admires criminals. In Talking to Myself he puts down the tape recorder and writes witty and wonderful about his childhood, Chicago and
This is the best. You can tell Studs was an actor—he narrates the way a playwright sets a scene. In this book he is quite directly political often in an unexpected, understated or charming way. Here he is, in the thick of the ’68 Democratic Convention clash of protestors and police: “I am furious. My fifteen-cent panatela is crushed in my pocket. During the rout, no doubt. I had envisioned more than a good smoke. It was my psychological weapon. Years before, I had seen the Russian film Chapayev....
A great book. I can hear Studs talk when I read it. It is literally written as one might think, moving from one thought to another, so the reader really needs to pay close attention.
Well, he did warn me that this was a free flow state of conscience book. I thought I could work my way through this, but I could not relate to the vignettes that he was presenting. Since I am of an advanced age, I was surprised that I could not connect with the people he was mentioning. Oh well, life is way too short to slough through this.
What a full life led..quite a read...intelligent, insightful, humorous...from the 1920s forward...Al Capone, to Big Bill Broonzy, to Martin Luther King...wonderful !!!!
Mark Twain said that when doing a memoir, don't do it in straight chronological fashion, but take side excursions as things come to you. While that may be a good general principle, Terkel takes it to such an extreme that much of the time I don't know what the hell he is talking about. This book was written in 1971 and it covers the 50 years before that. Terkel assumes the reader knows the people he is talking about and can make the connections that he doesn't spell out. It doesn't work for me.
This was my first attempt at listening to a whole book- bought it from Audiobooks with a birthday gift certificate. I might have liked this one better in print, because I could have skipped things that were repetitive or annoying. Also, I was put off by the way the reader rendered ethnic accents, and by the way he sounded similar to, but not like, Studs Terkel himself. But it was fascinating to hear Studs Terkel's own story-- it was not at all what I had imagined.
An American original, Studs Terkel focused on learning more from people about their lives, whether it was a president or a street walker. Here he revisits his own collection of memories, especially those of his growing up at Chicago's old Wells Grand Hotel in Roaring 20's. Studs' unique combination of humor and insight remain a great treasure that is worth combing through with a fair amount of time and attention.
Interesting, but I find it far less interesting and convincing than Terkel's collected interviews.This contains a lot of personal reminiscences re. growing up in Chicago, which I found tedious and somewhat affected.I'd really give about 3.5 stars. Unless you're already a fan, go with an interview collection (e.g. Working, American Dreams) first.
Gave up. At first I really enjoyed the random recollections of life in the 1920s and '30s in Chicago. But after a while, I was supremely bored. So many names that didn't mean a thing to me. Not enough action in the stories. Maybe it gets better, but I didn't make it past about page 50.
A peculiar, sporadically brilliant oral memoir from one of our nation's finest historians. I especially enjoyed the bits about Chicago.
don't know yet!
I liked his books of interviews better. This book moves back and forth chronologically so much that it takes half the book before you "get it".