Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

New Press/ORIM
Free sample

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Good WarA masterpiece of modern journalism and “a huge anthem in praise of the American spirit” (Saturday Review).
 
In this “invaluable record” 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, striking workers, and Okies, 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 1929 stock market crash and its repercussions radically changed the lives of a generation. The voices that speak from the pages of this unique book are as timeless as the lessons they impart (The New York Times).
 
Hard Times doesn’t ‘render’ the time of the depression—it is that time, its lingo, mood, its tragic and hilarious stories.” —Arthur Miller
 
“Wonderful! The American memory, the American way, the American voice. It will resurrect your faith in all of us to read this book.” —Newsweek
 
“Open Studs Terkel’s book to almost any page and rich memories spill out . . . Read a page, any page. Then try to stop.” —The National Observer
Read more
Collapse

About the author

Studs Terkel was an actor, writer, and radio host. He was born Louis Terkel on May 16, 1912 in New York City. He took his name from the James T. Farrell novel, Studs Lonigan. Terkel attended the University of Chicago and graduated with a law degree in 1934. Terkel acted in local stage productions and on radio dramas until he began one of the first television programs, an unscripted show called Studs Place in the early 1950s. In 1952, Terkel began Studs Terkel's Almanac on radio station WFMT in Chicago. Terkel compiled a series of books based on oral histories that defined America in the 20th Century. Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do received a National Book Award nomination in 1975. The Good War: An Oral History of World War II won the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction in 1985. Working was turned into a hit musical in 1978. Terkel was named the Communicator of the Year by the University of Chicago in 1969. He also won a Peabody Award for excellence in journalism in 1980 and the National Book Foundation Medal for contributions to American letters in 1997. He died on October 31, 2008 at the age of 96.

Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
New Press/ORIM
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Jul 26, 2011
Read more
Collapse
Pages
480
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9781595587602
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
History / Social History
History / United States / 20th Century
Literary Collections / Interviews
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
A “wonderfully written account of America in the ’30s,” the follow-up to Only Yesterday examines Black Tuesday through the end of the Depression (The New York Times).

Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Opening on September 3, 1929, in the days before the stock market crash, this information-packed volume takes us through one of America’s darkest times all the way to the light at the end of the tunnel.
 
Following Black Tuesday, America plunged into the Great Depression. Panic and fear gripped the nation. Banks were closing everywhere. In some cities, 84 percent of the population was unemployed and starving. When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933,  public confidence in the nation slowly began to grow, and by 1936, the industrial average, which had plummeted in 1929 from 125 to fifty-eight, had risen again to almost one hundred. But America still had a long road ahead. Popular historian Frederick Lewis Allen brings to life these ten critical years. With wit and empathy, he draws a devastating economic picture of small businesses swallowed up by large corporations—a ruthless bottom line not so different from what we see today. Allen also chronicles the decade’s lighter side: the fashions, morals, sports, and candid cameras that were revolutionizing Americans’ lives.  
 
From the Lindbergh kidnapping to the New Deal, from the devastating dust storms that raged through our farmlands to the rise of Benny Goodman, the public adoration of Shirley Temple, and our mass escape to the movies, this book is a hopeful and powerful reminder of why history matters.
One of the most dynamic eras in American history—the 1920s—began with this watershed year that would set the tone for the century to follow. "The Roaring Twenties” is the only decade in American history with a widely applied nickname, and our collective fascination with this era continues. But how did this surge of innovation and cultural milestones emerge out of the ashes of The Great War? No one has yet written a book about the decade’s beginning.

Acclaimed author Eric Burns investigates the year of 1920, which was not only a crucial twelve-month period of its own, but one that foretold the future, foreshadowing the rest of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st, whether it was Sacco and Vanzetti or the stock market crash that brought this era to a close.

Burns sets the record straight about this most misunderstood and iconic of periods. Despite being the first full year of armistice, 1920 was not, in fact, a peaceful time—it contained the greatest act of terrorism in American history to date. And while 1920 is thought of as starting a prosperous era, for most people, life had never been more unaffordable. Meanwhile, African Americans were putting their stamp on culture and though people today imagine the frivolous image of the flapper dancing the night away, the truth was that a new kind of power had been bestowed on women, and it had nothing to do with the dance floor. . .

From prohibition to immigration, the birth of jazz, the rise of expatriate literature, and the original Ponzi scheme, 1920 was truly a year like no other.

At the dawn of the twentieth century, Theodore Roosevelt and J. Pierpont Morgan were the two most powerful men in America, perhaps the world. As the nation’s preeminent financier, Morgan presided over an elemental shift in American business, away from family-owned companies and toward modern corporations of unparalleled size and influence. As president, Theodore Roosevelt expanded the power of that office to an unprecedented degree, seeking to rein in those corporations and to rebalance their interests with those of workers, consumers, and society at large.
Overpowering figures and titanic personalities, Roosevelt and Morgan could easily have become sworn enemies. And when they have been considered together (never before at book length), they have generally been portrayed as battling colossi, the great trust builder versus the original trustbuster. But their long association was far more complex than that, and even mutually beneficial.
Despite their many differences in temperament and philosophy, Roosevelt and Morgan had much in common—social class, an unstinting Victorian moralism, a drive for power, a need for order, and a genuine (though not purely altruistic) concern for the welfare of the nation. Working this common ground, the premier progressive and the quintessential capitalist were able to accomplish what neither could have achieved alone—including, more than once, averting national disaster. In the process they also changed forever the way that government and business worked together.
An Unlikely Trust is the story of the uneasy but fruitful collaboration between Theodore Roosevelt and Pierpont Morgan. It is also the story of how government and business evolved from a relationship of laissez-faire to the active regulation that we know today. And it is an account of how, despite all that has changed in America over the past century, so much remains the same, including the growing divide between rich and poor; the tangled bonds uniting politicians and business leaders; and the pervasive feeling that government is working for the special interests rather than for the people. Not least of all, it is the story of how citizens with vastly disparate outlooks and interests managed to come together for the good of their common country.
America’s most inspirational voices, in their own words: “If you’re looking for a reason to act and dream again, you’ll find it in the pages of this book” (Chicago Tribune).
 
Published when Studs Terkel was ninety-one years old, this astonishing oral history tackles one of the famed journalist’s most elusive subjects: Hope. Where does it come from? What are its essential qualities? How do we sustain it in the darkest of times? An alternative, more personal chronicle of the “American century,” Hope Dies Last is a testament to the indefatigable spirit that Studs has always embodied, and an inheritance for those who, by taking a stand, are making concrete the dreams of today.
 
A former death row inmate who served nearly twenty years for a crime he did not commit discusses his never-ending fight for justice. Tom Hayden, author of The Port Huron Statement, contemplates the legacy of 1960s student activism. Liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith reflects on the enduring problem of corporate malfeasance. From a doctor who teaches his young students compassion to the retired brigadier general who flew the Enola Gay over Hiroshima, these interviews tell us much about the power of the American dream and the force of individuals who advocate for a better world. With grace and warmth, Terkel’s subjects express their secret hopes and dreams. Taken together, this collection of interviews tells an inspiring story of optimism and persistence, told in voices that resonate with the eloquence of conviction.
 
“The value of Hope Dies Last lies not in what it teaches readers about its narrow subject, but in the fascinating stories it reveals, and the insight it allows into the vast range of human experience.” —The A.V. Club
 
“Very Terkelesque—by now the man requires an adjective of his own.” —Margaret Atwood, The New York Times Review of Books
 
“An American treasure.” —Cornel West
The instant New York Times bestseller!

From one of America's most beloved sportswriters, a collection of true stories about the dream of greatness and its cost in the world of sports.

"Wright Thompson's stories are so full of rich characters, bad actors, heroes, drama, suffering, courage, conflict, and vivid detail that I sometimes thinks he's working my side of the street - the world of fiction." - John Grisham

There is only one Wright Thompson. He is, as they say, famous if you know who he is: his work includes the most read articles in the history of ESPN (and it's not even close) and has been anthologized in the Best American Sports Writing series ten times, and he counts John Grisham and Richard Ford among his ardent admirers (see back of book). But to say his pieces are about sports, while true as far as it goes, is like saying Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove is a book about a cattle drive. Wright Thompson figures people out. He jimmies the lock to the furnaces inside the people he profiles and does an analysis of the fuel that fires their ambition. Whether it be Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or Pat Riley or Urban Meyer, he strips the away the self-serving myths and fantasies to reveal his characters in full. There are fascinating common denominators: it may not be the case that every single great performer or coach had a complex relationship with his father, but it can sure seem that way. And there is much marvelous local knowledge: about specific sports, and times and places, and people. Ludicrously entertaining and often powerfully moving, The Cost of These Dreams is an ode to the reporter's art, and a celebration of true greatness and the high price that it exacts.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.