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Hard Times by Studs Terkel
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Hard Times (original 1970; edition 1986)

by Studs Terkel (Author)

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1,1251213,684 (4.05)26
In this unique recreation of one of the most dramatic periods in modern American history, Studs Terkel recaptures the Great Depression of the 1930s in all its complexity. featuring a mosaic of memories from politicians, businessmen, artists, and writers, from those who were just kids to those who remember losing a fortune, Hard Times is not only a gold mine of information but a fascinating interplay of memory and fact, revealing how the Depression affected the lives of those who experienced it firsthand. "A huge anthem in praise of the American spirit." — Saturday Review. "… (more)
Member:nickfoettinger
Title:Hard Times
Authors:Studs Terkel (Author)
Info:Pantheon (1986), Edition: First Printing First Edition, 462 pages
Collections:Your library
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Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel (1970)

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nonfiction/collection of oral histories from various perspectives on the 1930s in the U.S. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
"It was the time of the Oxford Pledge and the movement against Fascism; his temptation to go to Spain as a member of the Lincoln Brigade . . . 'I was an ideal recruit, alone, on the run, searching for something'; a serious affair with a schoolteacher, running away . . . 'This is part of the Depression. You lived in a fear of responsibility for another person. You backed off when someone got close.' . . . I was born out of the Depression. I gave up my illusions. No more [a:Horatio Alger Jr.|2117358|Horatio Alger Jr.|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1310233977p2/2117358.jpg] I had a few bad hours, a few bad years. But I found excitement. It was an awakening" (Ray Wax, p. 458). ( )
1 vote | staunchwoody | Oct 30, 2020 |
A bit of a slog. Less drama than I expected, less diversity (both in the interviewees and in their voices), and more interviews with the rich and privileged. As an oral history, it doesn't compare with Svetlana Alexievich's "Voices from Chernobyl."

> I got out of art school in 1930. That was the proper time for any artist to get out of school. (Laughs.) Everybody was unemployed, and the artist didn't seem strange any more. ( )
  breic | Feb 27, 2020 |
Oral history of the Great Depression. The 'common 'man' interviews are the best, but Terkel interviewed many politicians and government officials as well. Contains the only interview I've ever read with Topekan Alfred Landon, 1936 GOP candidate. The vitriol aimed at Roosevelt by some reminds one that every election is terrible. ( )
  kcshankd | Nov 17, 2016 |
All in all, this was a good book. I enjoyed reading the first hand accounts, and Terkel did a very good job of including all opinions (including some truly disgusting, racist ones). It really gives you a good idea of what the Depression was like. Like Terkel said at the beginning, whether every fact was true or not, or every date remembered correctly hardly matters - it's what these people remember of the time that is the true legacy of the depression.

While I enjoyed it, I also felt that this book was about a hundred pages too long. Things seemed to repeat themselves. There also seemed to be no clear order to the book - the interviews seemed to be basically in a random order.

Nonetheless, it was truly an interesting and educational book. ( )
  sammii507 | Aug 19, 2014 |
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Epigraph
See, I never heard that word "depression" before. They would all just say hard times to me. It still is.
Roger, a fourteen-year-old Appalachian boy, living in Chicago
A Depression might be interesting today. It could really be something. To be on the bum, and have nobody say: "Look, I'll give you $10,000 if you'd just come back and go to school." We have a choice today. What would it be like if we had no choice?
Tom, 20
This I remember. Some people put this out of their minds and forget it. I don't want to forget it. I don't want it to take the best of me, but I want to be there because it happened. This is the truth, you know. History.
Cesar Chavez
They loved us who had passed away.
They forgot all our errors. Our names were mixed.
The story was long.
The young people danced. They brought down new boughs for the flame. They said, Go on with the story now. What happened next?
For us there was silence...
Genevieve Taggard, 1940
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For my wife, my son and my editor
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This is a memory book, rather than one of hard fact and precise statistic.
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In this unique recreation of one of the most dramatic periods in modern American history, Studs Terkel recaptures the Great Depression of the 1930s in all its complexity. featuring a mosaic of memories from politicians, businessmen, artists, and writers, from those who were just kids to those who remember losing a fortune, Hard Times is not only a gold mine of information but a fascinating interplay of memory and fact, revealing how the Depression affected the lives of those who experienced it firsthand. "A huge anthem in praise of the American spirit." — Saturday Review. "

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