on 8 April 1998
Working profiles the working lives of scores of Americans. From prostitute to chief executive, coal mine worker to major league ballplayer- a myriad of professions are covered. The book reads like a documentary (which it is). Terkel has included the most interesting aspects of each case study's working life, and ultimately you see why each continues to pursue their career in that chosen field- or at least what satisfaction they get from showing up everyday. It's a great book to pick up and spend 5 to 10 minutes or so reading about how someone else's working life has parallels to your own. The interviews were conducted mostly during the late 60's and early 70's but while it is slightly dated, even that fact makes for an interesting historical perspective.
on 19 November 2013
I'm still amazed that so few people in UK have even heard about Studs Terkel, in several ways the most powerful, original, and human writer of the 20th century. This book is as good an introduction as any, once started you will want to read more. He is the grandfather of virtually all oral historians.
Julian Tudor Hart