Coverart for item
The Resource Touch and go : a memoir, Studs Terkel

Touch and go : a memoir, Studs Terkel

Label
Touch and go : a memoir
Title
Touch and go
Title remainder
a memoir
Statement of responsibility
Studs Terkel
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • "At age ninety-five, Studs Terkel has written about everyone's life, it seems, but his own. In Touch and Go, he offers us a memoir that - capturing the spirit of the man himself - is youthful, vivacious, and enormous fun."
  • "Terkel takes us back to his early childhood with his father, mother, and two older brothers, describing the hectic life of family trying to earn a living in Chicago in the 1920s. He then goes on to recall his own early experiences - as a law student during the Depression, as a young theatergoer, and eventually as an actor himself on both radio and the stage, as well as his brief and humorous stint in the Air Force. He tells of his beginnings as a disc jockey after World War II and as an interviewer and oral historian - a craft he would come to perfect and indeed personify - and of his friendships with Nelson Algren, Mahalia Jackson, and many others. Finally, he discusses his role in the 1918 presidential election and his involvement with progressive politics, leading inevitably to his travails during the McCarthy period when he was blacklisted and thrown out of work despite having become by then one of the country's most popular TV performers."
  • "Through it all, Terkel reflects upon the hundreds of people and events that have influenced him over the years, his enduring love affair with Chicago, and his lifelong concern for the lives of the uncelebrated - for lending voice to the face in the crowd. Fans of Studs Terkel will find much to discover in these remarkable reminiscences, including many previously unpublished photographs. Others will be captivated to learn of the unique and eclectic life of one of America's greatest living legends."--BOOK JACKET
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ After a lifetime of interviewing others, Terkel finally turns the tape recorder on himself. At least, that's what he would have us think. Terkel's memoir is more a medley of all the extraordinary characters he's encountered through his career, from the adult loners of his youth in Chicago's Wells-Grand Hotel, to New Deal politicians. Terkel details his long journey through law school, the air force, theater, radio, early television, sports commentary, jazz criticism and oral history. Surprisingly, a 12-time author who has built a career on emerging media is a hopeless Luddite. Unskilled with his tape recorder, the bread and butter of an oral historian, Terkel modestly attributes his knack for getting people to open up about their lives to his own “ineptitude” and “slovenliness.” This memoir, however, is a fitting portrait of a legendary talent who seeks truth with compassion, intelligence, moxie and panache. Never one to back down from authority, Terkel cracks jokes in law school classrooms and filibusters FBI visits by quoting long passages from Thoreau and Paine. He pogos between decades, reminding the reader that knowing history doesn't mean memorizing chronologies so much as it does attending to the lessons and voices of the past. He laments the “national Alzheimer's” afflicting this country, and fears the consequences if we don't regain consciousness. Americans might get to know their collective past a lot better if all history lessons were as absorbing and entertaining as this one. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed August 27, 2007) (Publishers Weekly, vol 254, issue 34, p70)
  • Having chronicled the lives of nearly everyone else, 95-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner Terkel (The Good War ) now tells his own story. He recalls early days in New York and his move to Chicago at age nine. Personalities such as socialist labor leader Eugene V. Debs, statesman William Jennings Bryan, and lawyer Clarence Darrow emerge as Terkel comments on the politics of the 1920s and 1930s, his liberal tendencies apparent even at a young age. After serving in World War II, he worked as a disk jockey and then had a television variety show called Studs' Place . Most compelling, though, are Terkel's reflections on his activities as a progressive during the McCarthy era, when he was blacklisted and thrown out of work despite his show's popularity. He writes of FBI visits to his home and his struggle to make a living. Throughout these reminiscences, he maintains his sense of humor, interest in the common person, and love for the arts. While at times a little disjointed and jumbled, this memoir provides an insightful and fascinating look at America's last century through the eyes of one of its most astute observers. Recommended for large public libraries.—Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo --Nancy R. Ives (Reviewed December 15, 2007) (Library Journal, vol 132, issue 20, p129)
  • /* Starred Review */ The father of popular oral history turns 95 and finally turns the microphone on himself to craft an emotionally charged (but never sentimental), politically charged (but never formulaic) and energy-charged account of his days.A Chicago institution, Terkel (Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a Faith, 2001, etc.) calls himself a "radical conservative," adding, "I want to conserve the blue of the skies, the potability of our drinking water, the First Amendment of the Constitution, and whatever sanity we have left." Getting to that position has required a long apprenticeship, beginning in an immigrant Chicago with a tailor father and a seamstress mother from the Jewish Old World. Chicago was a city of gangsters and speakeasies, of marked divisions between newcomers and natives. It was a city of radical politics and labor activism, a different place from today's city, which is very much like any other—for, as Terkel laments, "the unique landmarks of American cities have been replaced by Golden Arches, Red Lobsters, Pizza Huts and Marriotts, so you can no longer tell one neon wilderness from another." That's not just an old codger's cry for an irrecoverable golden age, though. As he writes, "I don't want to romanticize the past, become an old reactionary, an old fart saying, 'In the good old days. . .' There were bad old days, too." Indeed, Terkel harbors little nostalgia, especially for the McCarthyite days in which he, though a popular DJ, was hounded from the airwaves for political reasons. He had his revenge, a tale unfolded in one of the more pleasing of the many pleasing anecdotes in this leisurely paced congeries of stories within stories. Whether recounting the lives of working people, getting inside the heads of political leaders or interrogating history, Terkel is a self-aware and self-effacing presence who happily knows he has been at the center of many things—stories he gladly tells.History from a highly personal point of view, by one who has helped make it. (Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2007)
Biography type
autobiography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
186809
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1912-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Terkel, Studs
Dewey number
B
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • portraits
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Lewis, Sydney
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Terkel, Studs
  • Broadcasters
  • Authors, American
Label
Touch and go : a memoir, Studs Terkel
Instantiates
Publication
Note
Includes index
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Control code
000041602531
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
xviii, 269 p., [8] p. of plates.
Isbn
9781595580436
Other physical details
ill., ports.
Label
Touch and go : a memoir, Studs Terkel
Publication
Note
Includes index
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Control code
000041602531
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
xviii, 269 p., [8] p. of plates.
Isbn
9781595580436
Other physical details
ill., ports.

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
Processing Feedback ...