should have added an interview with Studs. Terkel, who performed a heroic job of work working. People Talk About What They. Do All Day and How They. Working has ratings and reviews. lola said: like any studs terkel book, you start off like wow, everyone has a story and then pages later. 12 Jun Studs Terkel. For better or worse, the world that Studs Terkel captured forty years ago in his brilliant oral history of American workers, Working.

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The beginning of environmentalism proper. We value certain occupations and make judgments on people based on their occupations both positively and negatively.

It’s apparent in these short oral histories that Terkel isn’t making judgments about certain occupations.

Studs Terkel’s Working – new jobs, same need for meaning | Books | The Guardian

Since the book is structured in individual interviews, can always pick up again some other time. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. If the point was to evoke in the reader the same boredom that most of these people experience at their jobs then I guess Terkel succeeded, but somehow I doubt that’s the case. I finally did it.

The way we make our living is radically different from how our ancestors did; and yet work, nowadays, seems like the most natural thing in the world, more eternal and terkle important than marriage.

The experiences these workers recount and the emotions they they exude are personal but universal. What this book is is what life feels like during the hours you don’t choose for yourself–as told by airline stewardesses, union bosses, factory workers, CEOs, car salesmen, whatever–and there’s as much humanity in here as in any novel. Gary Bryner, Union Worker 4: For decades, the reel-to-reel recordings of Terkel’s original Working interviews were packed away in boxes in his stid office; they were still boxed up when Terkel died in Those remaining pages are direct transcriptions from the stories told to Terkel b Studs Terkel opens Working with one of the most stirring sentences I have read of late: In the days before barcodes and digital cash registers, Babe memorized all the prices in the store: This book pulls back the veil on such prejudices and lets people speak for themselves about their field of employment.


There are certain jobs– shoe stocker– which entails getting a shoe order, finding all the shoes on the order and sending them out, that I never really thought about, then again I’m not sure they are around anymore. On the other hand, it was most encouraging to see how many people took workign in their work, even when it was not the most glamorous of professions.

Working: People Talk about What They Do All Day and How They Feel about What They Do

Phil is a spot-welder, 27 years old. I feel better at it than I did at the office. A job like mine, if you really put your spirit into it, you would sabotage immediately. Isn’t this dreadfully outdated? Also surprising is how many jobs and categories of jobs were unionized injobs that today we would not even imagine should be unionized today or could have ever been so. Although this book came out init feels surprisingly recent.

wor,ing Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the Patrolmen’s League. Renault Robinson was an officer in the Chicago Police Department, and one of the co-founders of the Afro-American Patrolmen’s League when Terkel interviewed him in Dec 27, Matthew rated it it was amazing.

Previously I’ve read one on the Spanish Civil War, but that’s it. Studs Terkel records the voices of America.

Jobs are not big enough for people. The Polish white families are “wonderful” and the two black families she has had contact with are “sweet” ie docile while “the Spanish” by which she means Puerto Ricans are “terrible and destructive. In his interview with Terkel, Jaffe looked back on his career and wondered if somehow he had made the wrong choice. Each interview is presented with minimal interjection from Turkel, and for the most part they are unadorned.


The two I’ll probably remember best are the film critic and one of the two cops. This lack of scrutiny is especially striking, considering that our jobs dictate our social status, consume most of our time, and are usually the number one thing we complain about.

Just building it bigger and bigger… In America, where our jobs are one of the main determinants of our social standing, it is no surprise that status anxiety plays a big role in worker dissatisfactions. This was an important book when it was published in the 70s and it’s just as relevant now. The future was something to embrace rather than to fear.

Life and work have changed out of all recognition in the past 45 years; the secretarial skills I worked so hard to acquire in those days are worth precisely nothing on the job market today, among other things.

‘Working’ Then And Now: Studs Terkel’s Book Interviews Resurface As Audio : NPR

I’m a fan of both Studs Terkel and of oral histories, so this book was a win-win for me. The book flopped when people offered their dull and unsubstantiated theories on the various reasons why things happened the way they did.

What will the next 50 years bring? I tried really hard to like this book.