Voices from the Depression: Studs Terkel Interviews

Not long after Studs Terkel, the his­to­ri­an of the every­man, died in Octo­ber, This Amer­i­can Life fea­tured a series of inter­views that Terkel once con­duct­ed with Amer­i­cans who lived through the Depres­sion. (Lis­ten to the mp3 here.) The tapes would even­tu­al­ly pro­vide the mate­r­i­al for his book, Hard Times: An Oral His­to­ry of the Great Depres­sion. And, as you’ll see, these record­ings make this trans­for­ma­tion­al moment real in a way that few oth­er his­tor­i­cal sources can. You’ll hear the voic­es of real peo­ple, recount­ing their dai­ly expe­ri­ences and remem­ber­ing the race and class divi­sions that ran deep in Amer­i­ca. You’ll also hear about the humil­i­a­tions and acts of kind­ness that were part of every­day life. (NOTE: The inter­views start about 6 min­utes into the record­ing.)

You can access more of Terkel’s audio record­ings over at the web site, www.studsterkel.org. The site notably fea­tures more inter­views from the Hard Times record­ing ses­sions.

Thanks Robin for send­ing these clips our way.

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