Touch and Go (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
Although he has enjoyed successful careers as a radio and televison host, a soap opera actor, a playwright, and an activist, Louis “Studs” Terkel is best known as a compiler of oral histories. With the aid of a tape recorder and a keen ear for narrative, Terkel has interviewed scores of common and uncommon folk and stitched together seamless first-person accounts in their own voices for best-selling books, including Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do (1974) and Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession (1992). In what he has declared to be his last book, Touch and Go: A Memoir, Terkel has attempted an approximation of the method that enabled him to capture the memories and voices of hundreds of others, interweaving excerpts from earlier works with new material dictated over the phone to longtime friend, assistant, and amanuensis Sydney Lewis, herself an accomplished compiler of oral history.
Alert and curious, Terkel has been witness to many of the most significant events in the past century. As he often retells it, he was born only two weeks after the sinking of the Titanic, “Make of it what you will.” One of his earliest memories is of sitting on his father’s shoulders in New York City, where the family lived until he was two or three, watching an Armistice parade pass by. He listened to parts of the “Scopes Monkey Trial” and...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
Harper’s Magazine 315 (November, 2007): 81-82.
Kirkus Reviews 75, no. 17 (September 1, 2007): 915-916.
Library Journal 132, no. 20 (December 15, 2007): 129-130.
Los Angeles Times, October 28, 2007, p. R3.
The New York Times Book Review 157 (December 9, 2007): 17.
Publishers Weekly 254, no. 34 (August 27, 2007): 70.
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