HARD TIMES Book Review: Hard Times by Studs Terkel An Oral History Of The Great Depression New York: Pantheon Books, 1970

Essay by Crony May 2004

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Studs Terkel, the noted journalist, radio commentator, and author has provided us with different views on different topics with the many books he's published throughout the years. Particularly in his 1970 publication of Hard Times, which is an oral history of the Great Depression of the nineteen thirties. Terkel interviewed dozens of people across the United States for this book, then bringing together a collection from these interviews with mostly ordinary people to talk about their views and experiences in certain aspects of the Great Depression. Issues like employment problems, the crash of nineteen twenty-nine, "farm holidays" where crops were destroyed, and U.S. President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt's New Deal programs are covered in his interviews.

Stud Terkel was born in nineteen twelve in New York, but grew up in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Chicago in nineteen thirty-two and from the University of Chicago Law School in nineteen thirty-four.

Currently, Terkel has a daily radio program on WFMT in Chicago that is broadcasted throughout the country where he lectures and interviews about different history topics. Hard Times (1970) is one of Terkel's best-sellers books among with Working (1974), Race (1992), and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Good War (1985). Recounting others lives and events is Terkel's life's work, and Terkel's exceptional skill as a radio interviewer has led to the publication of eight books. His publication of Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession, consist of interviews with nearly 100 people regarding their attitudes toward race.

A writer, a reporter, but above all a good listener. Hard Times is a compilation of oral recounts of the Great Depression of the twentieth Century, taken by Studs Terkel. He begins with the events of what the country went through after October, 1929. In...