People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do

Paperback - 1974
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Perhaps Studs Terkel's best-known book, Working is a compelling, fascinating look at jobs and the people who do them. Consisting of over one hundred interviews conducted with everyone from gravediggers to studio heads, this book provides a timeless snapshot of people's feelings about their working lives, as well as a relevant and lasting look at how work fits into American life.

Publisher: New York : New Press, c1974.
ISBN: 9781565843424
Branch Call Number: HD8072 .T4 1974
Characteristics: xlix, 589 p. ; 21 cm.


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For those seeking to explore both (or multiple) sides of any issue, the Social Sciences Room at Central Library is a great place to start. War and peace, poverty and wealth, idleness and work, love and hate, depression and happiness, anxiety and tranquility, life and death, digital (we have the computer books!) and analog (we also have books, and books about books) - these are just a few of… (more)


“It is about a search, too, for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.” STUDS TERKEL - WORKING XI Studs Terkel’s Working was first published in 1974. As the subtitle states, in the book we hear “people talk about what they do all day and how the… (more)

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From Library Staff

Frankly, we use any excuse to highlight Terkel's classic tome - while written in 1974, many of his interviews remain amazingly relevant, while others involve jobs that are hard to understand in our 21st century context.

The basis for the Library's 2018 exhibit, "Working in America."

Terkel starts his huge oral history of work in 1970s America with four epigraphs. My favourite is from Faulkner: “You can’t eat for eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours a day – al... Read More »

Apropos of the "banning" of Working, an Arizona school district deleted the book from its 7th and 8th grade curriculum because of the possible negative effect of profane language on the students: "When we require idealistic and sensitive youth to be burdened with despair, ugliness ... Read More »

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