Spirit of America Bookstore

broadcast journalist
Louis  'Studs'  Terkel


broadcast journalist Louis 'Studs' Terkel [1912-2008] in the studio          short profile

primary works

other works

movies & TV

stageplays, other media

works about 'Studs' Terkel

family & friends


The traditional sign-off on his radio program was "Take it easy, but take it"

“People are hungry for stories. It's part of our very being. Storytelling is a form of history. It goes from one generation to another.”

“More and more we are into communications – and less and less into communication.”

“I want a language that speaks the truth.”

“How come you don't work fourteen hours a day? Your great-great-grandparents did. How come you only work
the eight-hour day? Four guys got hanged fighting for the eight-hour day for you.”

“I was constantly astonished by the extraordinary dreams of ordinary people.” – in "Working" [1974]

“Heroes are not great statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say: This is my community,
and it is my responsibility to make it better.”

“When it comes to the news, the corporate view is 'objective', all else is 'propaganda'.”

“I'm kind of running out of steam. But I'll always do books . . . Otherwise, I'd fade out.
I don't intend to fade out, I intend to check out.”

“My epitaph? My epitaph will be 'Curiosity did not kill this cat'.”

signature of Louis 'Studs' Terkel

          B I O
          t e x t
          h e r e

Chicago Historical Society Studs Terkel website
Studs Terkel entry at Wikipedia
browse books at the 'Studs' Terkel Store at Amazon
search DVDs on 'Studs Terkel' at Amazon
'Studs' Terkel credits [since 1949] at Internet Movie Database
'Studs' Terkel credits [1978 & 1980] at Internet Broadway Database

received the 1983 Eugene Debs Award from the Eugene V. Debs Foundation [est. 1962]
received the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction in 1985 for "The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two"
the Studs Terkel Community Media Awards for Journalism [est. 1989] are given out in March
awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1997
received both the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts at the White House in 1997
elected to the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1997
received the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003

Primary Works
browse books at the 'Studs' Terkel Store at Amazon

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"Giants of Jazz" [1957] ISBN 1-56584-769-5

"Division Street: America" [1967 bestseller] ISBN 0-394-42267-8

"Hard Times: An Oral History of The Great Depression" [1970] ISBN 0-394-42774-2

"Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do" [1974]
whitish cover for 'Working' book by Studs Terkel  yellow cover for 'Working' book by Studs Terkel  
Kindle Edition from The New Press [7/2011] for $10.99
The New Press 8¼x5½ pb [2/97] for $10.99
Avon mass pb [3/75] out of print/100+ used
Pantheon Books 9½x6½ hardcover [2/74] out of print/100+ used

Broadway musical [1978]official stageplay website

"Working" [April 1982] episode of "American Playhouse" TV series [] hosted by Studs Terkel

"Talking to Myself: A Memoir of My Times" [1977] ISBN 0-394-41102-1

"American Dreams: Lost and Found" [1983]

"The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two" [1984] ISBN 0-394-53103-5
by Studs Terkel (won the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction)

"Chicago" [1986] ISBN 5-551-54568-7

"The Great Divide: Second Thoughts On The American Dream (1988) ISBN 0-394-57053-7

"Race: What Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About The American Obsession" [1992] ISBN 978-1-56584-000-3

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"Coming of Age: The Story of Our Century By Those Who’ve Lived It" [9/1995]
poster from 1995 book tour                  

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"The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century" [1997]
The Studs Terkel Reader collection  Preface by Calvin Trillin, Foreword by Robert Coles
includes selections from: "American Dreams"; "Hard Times"; "The Good War";
"Division Street"; "Working"; "The Great Divide"; "Race"; and "Coming of Age"

Kindle Edition from The New Press [7/2011] for $9.99
The New Press 8x5 pb [5/2007] for $13.49
"My American Century" [1997]
The New Press 9x5¾ pb [9/98] out of print/100+ used
The New Press 9½x7¼ hardcover [8/97] out of print/90+ used

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"Will The Circle Be Unbroken: Reflections On Death, Rebirth and Hunger For A Faith" [2001] ISBN 0-641-75937-1

"Hope Dies Last: Keeping The Faith In Difficult Times" [2003] ISBN 1-56584-837-3

"And They All Sang: Adventures of An Eclectic Disc Jockey" [2005] ISBN 1-59558-003-4

Touch & Go memoir by Studs Terkel  "Touch and Go: A Memoir" [2007]
by Studs Terkel, with Sidney Lewis

Master interviewer & radio host Terkel looks back from the age of 95 on a life lived in the middle of the Roaring Twenties in Chicago, The Great Depression, World War II, the Golden Age of Radio, and Joe McCarthy's blacklist.
New Press 8¾x5¾ pb [10/2008] for $13.72
New Press 9¼x6¼ hardcover [11/2007] for $16.47

"P.S.: Further Thoughts From A Lifetime of Listening" [2008] ISBN 1-59558-423-4

Other  Works

Studs Terkel Interviews Film & Theater  "The Studs Terkel Interviews: Film and Theater" [2008]
by Studs Terkel, Introduction by Garry Wills

New Press 8x5½ pb [5/2008] for $14.95
1999 hardcover title "The Spectator: Talk About Movies & Plays With The People Who Make Them"
New Press 8x5¾ pb [3/2001] out of print/60+ used
New Press 9½x6½ hardcover [9/99] for $21.35
the 50+ interviewees include: Edward Albee, James Baldwin, pianist Eubie Blake, Marlon Brando, James Cagney, Carol Channing, Rene Clair, Rick Cluchey, Harold Clurman, Ruth Draper, dancer Agnes de Mille, Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Ruth Gordon, Uta Hagen, Lorraine Hansberry, Hal Holbrook, Lillian Gish, Uta Hagen, E.Y. (Yip) Harburg, Eugene Ionesco, Pauline Kael, Buster Keaton, Lila Kedrova, Eva Le Gallienne, Lotte Lenya, Joan Littlewood, Moms Mabley, Marcel Marceau, E.G. Marshall, Ian McKellen, playwright Arthur Miller, Jonathan Miller, Robert Morley, Gilbert Moses, [blacklistee] Zero Mostel, Geraldine Page, [blacklistee] John Randolph, auteur Satyajit Ray, Jason Robards Jr., Françoise Rosay, William Saroyan, Alan Schneider, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hiram (Chub) Sherman, Simone Signoret, Jacques Tati, Sybil Thorndike, puppeteer Burr Tillstrom, Kenneth Tynan, director King Vidor, Emlyn Williams, Tennessee Williams, August Wilson & many more

Movies  &  Television

'Studs' Terkel credits [since 1949] at Internet Movie Database

"Studs' Place" live TV series [1949-50]
Beverly Younger co-starred as Grace

"Beginning To Date" short [1953] as swimming coach

"Chicago Blues" documentary) [1970]

"It's A Living" [WTTW May 1975]
based on Terkel's "Working"; extras include half-hour sequel docu "Paper Roses"

"Peace" short film [1976] as narrator

"The New Deal for Artists (TV Movie documentary) [1976]

"David Susskind Show": You Should Meet Studs Terkel" [1977]
first 50-minute hour of 2-hour 1977 syndicated show
http://www.amazon.com/David-Susskind-Should-Studs-Terkel/dp/B00A0F6H2K/ 10/2013

"Studs Terkel's Chicago" [1979] episode of "Cities" documentary TV series

"Asbestos Alert" documentary short [1982] narrated by Studs Terkel

"The Weavers: Wasn't That A Time" documentary [March 1982]

"Working" [April 1982] episode of "American Playhouse" TV series [] hosted by Studs Terkel

"The Dollmaker" TV movie [1984] /tt0087160/ with Jane Fonda

"The Good Fight: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade In The Spanish Civil War"
documentary film [First Run Features March 1984]
The Good Fight / Abraham Lincoln Brigade documentary film  Funded by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Film Project and The National Endowment for the Humanities; includes interviews with survivors, 50 years after the events. Co-produced, written & directed by Noel Buckner, Mary Dore & Sam Sills; narrated by Studs Terkel, with Colleen Dewhurst & John Houseman
Kino Intl. widescreen color/b&w DVD [7/2008] for $26.99
Kino Video color/b&w VHS [6/2000] out of prodn/used
full credits at IMDb

"Studs Terkel - Ein Fußgänger (pedestrian) In Chicago" [June 1986] episode of
"Personenbeschreibung (People)" documentary TV series [Germany 1986]

"Long Shadows: The Legacy of The American Civil War" documentary [indep 1987]
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0144282/ + http://www.ageefilms.org/ls.html

"Something Borrowed, Something New" [July 1988] episode of "Tanner '88" TV series [1988]
Written by Garry Trudeau, directed by Robert Altman

"Eight Men Out" [Orion Pictures Sept 1988] adapted & directed by John Sayles

"Ken Burns's The Civil War" documentary TV mini-series [1990]
as the voice of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler in nine episodes

"Ralph Nader: Up Close" documentary [P.B.S. 1990]
Ralph Nader: Up Close movie  Written, directed & produced by Mark Litwak & Tiiu Lukk;
narrated by Studs Terkel
CustomFlix color DVD [7/2006] for $24.95
not listed at IMDb • official movie page

"America's Classic Ballparks" [1991] /tt0406238/
http://www.amazon.com/Americas-Classic-Ballparks-Jeff-Daniels/dp/B002N57KEY/ [10/2009]

"To Write and Keep Kind: A Portrait of Raymond Carver" (TV Movie) [1992] poetry reading /tt1522326/

"The Real McTeague: A Synthesis of Forms" tv program [WNEW/PBS May 1993]
Directed by Robert Altman; narrated by Studs Terkel
video/DVD not available • credits at IMDb

"Harry Bridges: A Man and His Union" [indep 1993]
Harry Bridges speaking at I.L.W.U. rally in San Francisco  Labor leader Harry Bridges [1901-90] was an officer in the I.L.A. from 1933 and was elected president of the new International Longshoremen & Warehouseman Union in 1937. He was prosecuted several times for being a secret Communist: 1939 case tossed out; 1941 conviction reversed by the Supreme Court in 1945; 1948 perjury conviction reversed by the Supreme Court in 1953; 1954 trial declared Bridges not guilty. Bridges retired from the union in 1977, and died in 1990 at age 88.
Produced & directed by Berry Minnott; written by James Hamilton; narrated by Studs Terkel
CreateSpace color DVD-R [9/2007] for $20.00
credits at IMDbHarry Bridges entry at Wikipedia

"The Joust" featurette [indep 1994] /tt0195851/

"Laborer of Love" [Jan 1996] episode of "The Home Court" TV series /tt0603389/

"Fear & Favor In The Newsroom" documentary [KTEH-TV 1996] /tt0116286/ narrated by Studs Terkel

"Corwin" documentary TV movie [indep June 1996]

"Mahalia Jackson: The Power & The Glory" [1997] /tt0140347/

"Anthem: An American Road Story" [Zeitgeist Films July 1997]
Anthem road movie  "A unique and irreverent time capsule of the American Spirit at the dawn of the 21st Century" • two-hour extract from Gabel & Hahn's travels across America to meet common folk and visit celebrities, intending to 'explore and expose the American Dream' Co-produced, co-written & co-directed by and featuring Shainee Gabel & Kristin Hahn; also featuring rapper Sen. Barbara Boxer, rapper Chuck D., poet Rita Dove, Geraldine A. Ferraro, Winona LaDuke, George McGovern, country music star Willie Nelson, Robert Redford, Tom Robbins, George Stephanopoulos, musician Michael Stipe, Studs Terkel, gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, and rascal filmmaker John Waters; film won FIPRESCI Prize in Amsterdam • full credits at IMDb
Passion River color DVD [6/2007] for $29.99

"Vaudeville" 2-hour documentary [Nov 1997] episode of "American Masters" TV series

"The Big One" documentary [April 1998]
Written & directed by Michael Moore

"The Devil's Music: 1920s Jazz" [PBS/WGBH-TV Feb 2000] /tt1436703/
episode of "Culture Shock" TV documentary mini-series

three episodes of "ESPN SportsCentury" TV series [2000-2001] /tt0281438/

"Look Out, Haskell, It's Real: The Making of Medium Cool" TV Movie [indep 2001] /tt0296726/

"In A Time of Siege" TV documentary [2004] /tt2241235/
narration written & spoken by 'Studs' Terkel

"Tell Them Who You Are" [2004] /tt0420952/

"Rainbow Soup" [pilot 2004]
'Rainbow Soup' pilot episode on DVD  Pilot for a TV or online video series; only one episode has been released on DVD, and that 25-minute show is the only listing on IMDb; the segments include a visit to the WOMAD Festival in Seattle and a performance by Peter Gabriel; then a Marc Chagall exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago; next is a visit with British author & illustrator Marcia Williams, followed by 'Studs' Terkel narrating an animated version of a Williams book • Produced, written & directed by Peter Hawley
Windy Cine Prodns color DVD [9/2004] out of prodn/used
bare credits at IMDbseries official websiteproducers official website
The "Daedalus and Icarus" animation is not listed on IMDb (2014)

"ABC News Nightline: Studs Terkel [2005]
22-minute segment around 93-year-old Terkel's new book "And They All Sang"
http://www.amazon.com/ABC-News-Nightline-Studs-Terkel/dp/B000RKV3GI/ [6/2007]

"A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin' documentary featurette [indep Aug 2005]

"The Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame..." TV series [ESPN Classic 1999-?] /tt0787424/
Terkel appeared on two episodes in Aug & Nov 2005

"Sacco and Vanzetti" documentary feature film [indep March 2007]
Sacco & Vanzetti movie  80-minute documentary film co-produced & directed by Peter Miller; featuring Henry
Fonda, Arlo Guthrie, David Kaiser, Giuliano Montaldo, Studs Terkel, Mary Anne
Trasciatti, Howard Zinn, and the voices of Tony Shalhoub & John Turturro
First Run Features widescreen color DVD [8/2007] for $14.60
full credits from IMDbofficial movie site

"Studs Terkel: Listening To America"
documentary featurette [H.B.O. Films July 2009]
Studs Terkel: Listening To America  40-minute featurette directed by Eric Simonson; featuring 'Studs' Terkel, Tony Judge, Rick Kogan, Dennis Kucinich, Sydney Lewis, John Sayles, Andre Schiffrin, Stephen Schwartz, David Schwimmer, Anna Deavere Smith, Dan Terkel, Calvin Trillin, Tom Weinberg, and archive footage of Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton & Joseph McCarthy
H.B.O. Video DVD-R [12/2010] for $14.96
full credits at IMDbofficial H.B.O. movie pagewatch official trailer [1:00] at H.B.O.

"Studs On A Soapbox" DVD release [Media Burn Feb 2011]
Studs On A Soapbox DVD release  half-hour docufilm directed by Tom Weinberg, plus extras • no listing found on IMDb
Media Burn Independent Video Archive DVD-R [2/2011] for $24.95

"A Nation of Hypocrites" [2011] episode #3
of the "Prohibition" documentary TV mini-series [P.B.S. Oct 2011]
'A Nation of Hypocrites' episode of the 'Prohibition' TV mini-series from Ken Burns  Directed by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick; written by Geoffrey C. Ward; narrated by Peter Coyote; featuring Pete Hamill, Ruth Proskauer Smith, John Paul Stevens, Daniel Okrent, Studs Terkel; with voice-over readings by Adam Arkin, Philip Bosco, Patricia Clarkson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Lithgow, Oliver Platt & Sam Waterston; and archive footage of Al Capone, Herbert Hoover, Fiorello LaGuardia, Franklin D. Roosevelt & Alfred E. Smith
episode DVD/Blu-ray not available • the three episodes are available at iTunes
episode credits at IMDbP.B.S. official series homepage
series videos (all three episodes)
P.B.S. Home Video b&w/color Blu-ray [10/2011] 3 disks for $21.11
P.B.S. Home Video b&w/color DVD [10/2011] 3 disks for $18.57

"Sills" documentary [indep 2014] /tt1591498/
Written & directed by Vince Waldron; featuring Alan Arkin, Edward Asner, Shelley Berman, Melinda Dillon, Bob Dishy, Paul Dooley, Andrew Duncan, cartoonist Jules
Feiffer, Stuart Gordon, Valerie Harper, Mina Kolb, Warren Leming, Richard Libertini, Mike Nichols, Paul Sand, Richard Schaal, Studs Terkel & Haskell Wexler

Stageplays,  Other Media

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'Studs' Terkel credits [1978 & 1980] at Internet Broadway Database

"Working" Broadway musical [1978]

"The American Clock: A Mural For Theatre" stageplay [Nov 1980]
Written by Arthur Miller; 'inspired by' "Hard Times" by Studs Terkel

"Studs Terkel's Not Working" revue at the Second City Theatre in Chicago, Illinois
received the 2009 Joseph Jefferson Award for Production of a Revue.

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"Four Decades With Studs Terkel" on audio CD [9/1993]

"Voices of Our Time: Five Decades of Studs Terkel Interviews" [1999]
Voices of Our Time audio CD set  48 live radio interviews by 'Studs' Terkel on WFMT in Chicago
Highbridge UNABR audio CD set [6/2005] 6 disks/7½ hours for $23.07
Highbridge UNABR audio cassettes [3/99] 7½ hours - out of prodn/used
the 48 interviewees are Dr. Mortimer J. Adler, auteur Woody Allen, Isabel Allende, auteur Robert Altman, Laurie Anderson, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein, Jacob Bronowski, Mel Brooks, John Cage, Betty Carter, Aaron Copland, Simone de Beauvoir (1963), Ralph Ellison, Daniel Ellsberg, [blacklistee] John Henry Faulk, Dame Margot Fonteyn, thinker R. Buckminster Fuller, economist John Kenneth Galbraith, Nadine Gordimer, Stephen Jay Gould, David Hockney, Robert Hughes, Mahalia Jackson, Garrison Keillor, Alan Lomax, Barry Lopez, Norman Maclean, Margaret Mead, playwright Arthur Miller, Toni Morrison, Zero Mostel, Bill Moyers, Dorothy Parker, Bertrand Russell, Dr. Oliver Sacks, Pete Seeger, Andres Segovia, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Wole Soyinka, Calvin Trillin, Kenneth Tynan, Gore Vidal, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Garry Wills, and Bob Woodward

Works About 'Studs' Terkel

"Studs" documentary [WTTW-TV 11 1989] produced by Scott Craig

Chicago Tribune obituary for 'Studs' Terkel

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logo for Chicago student stageplay 'Buried In Bughouse Square'  "Buried In Bughouse Square" stageplay [2014]
Written by Jay Torrence, produced & directed by Halena Kays; first performance at University of Chicago in May 2014 with a student ensemble; explores the life & work of Chicago artist & icon 'Studs' Terkel through expressions of circus, clown, and physical theater.
University of Chicago stageplay homepage

Family & Friends
Louis Terkel was born in 1912 in New York City; after fifty years of daily radio shows (and more), he died at age 96 in Chicago, Illinois in 2008.

wife Ida Goldberg Terkel [-1999], married 1939-1999
son Dan Terkel [b. 1949]

close friend Nelson Algren

close friend columnist Mike Royko

friend and colleague (for 30 years) Ms. Sydney Lewis

friend and colleague Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune's literary editor

L i n k s
Chicago Historical Society Studs Terkel Archive website
Studs Terkel entry at Wikipedia
browse books at the 'Studs' Terkel Store at Amazon
'Studs' Terkel credits [since 1949] at Internet Movie Database
search DVDs on 'Studs Terkel' at Amazon
'Studs' Terkel credits [1978 & 1980] at Internet Broadway Database

Let's Get Working: Chicago Celebrates Studs Terkel [May 2014 = #1] 3-day festival

Louis 'Studs' Terkel [1912-2008] Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

top of this page • • short profile • • primary works • • other works • • movies & TV

stageplays, other media • • works about 'Studs' Terkel • • family & friends • • links

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