Working

Front Cover
Harper Collins, 1975 - Industrial sociology - 762 pages
119 Reviews
Studs Turkel records the voices of America. Men and women from every walk of life talk to him, telling him of their likes and dislikes, fears, problems, and happinesses on the job. Once again, Turkel has created a rich and unique document that is as simple as conversation, but as subtle and heartfelt as the meaning of our lives....
  

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Amazing insight into the minds of the the worker. - Goodreads
Studs was one of a kind as a man and writer. - Goodreads
It is a wonderful insight into my parents generation. - Goodreads

Review: Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do

User Review  - Grace - Goodreads

The last third of the book was killer. Loved it. Read full review

Review: Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do

User Review  - Chris Schaffer - Goodreads

Great and interesting book..but I have had a hard time with saying that Studs Terkel is the author of this book..the subjects basically are asked a question or two and expound on it for whatever number of pages. Read full review

Contents

COMMUNICATIONS
57
Heather Lamb telephone operator
65
A PECKING ORDER
72
Beryl Simpson airline reservationist
82
Anne Bogan executive secretary
90
YOU EVER HEAR THE
102
THE COMMERCIAL
114
Rip Torn actor
124
BROKERS
427
David Reed Glover stockbroker
436
BUREAUCRACY
448
Diane Wilson process clerk
457
Bill Talcott
463
THE SPORTING LIFE
471
Steve Hamilton baseball player
480
Blackie Mason sports press agent
489

Richard Mann installment dealer
132
Enid du Bois telephone solicitor
139
Nick Salerno sanitation truck driver
147
Louis Hayward washroom attendant
153
Maggie Holmes domestic
169
Vincent Maher policeman 183
177
WATCHING
179
Renault Robinson policeman
193
Anthony Ruggiero industrial investigator
201
Jill Freedman photographer
214
THE DEMON LOVER
221
Jim Grayson spotwelder
227
Ned Williams stock chaser
239
Wheeler Stanley general foreman
249
Gary Bryner president Lordstown Local UAW
256
THE DRIVING
266
Will Robinson bus driver
274
Frank Decker interstate truckdriver
279
THE PARKING
297
THE SELLING
303
APPEARANCE
313
Jean Stanley cosmetics saleswoman
324
Doc Pritchard hotel clerk
331
COUNTING
344
Fred Roman auditor
351
Alice Washington order filler shoe factory
357
Conrad Swibel gas meter reader
364
Brett Hauser supermarket box boy
371
Thomas Rush skycap
380
Dolores Dante waitress
389
JUST A HOUSEWIFE
396
THE QUIET LIFE
409
Eugene Russell piano tuner
419
Eric Nesterenko hockey player
499
George Allen football coach
506
Dave Bender factory owner
515
Ernest Bradshaw audit department head bank
521
Lois Keeley Novak his daughter
529
MA AND PA COURAGE
541
REFLECTIONS ON IDLENESS
552
Joe Zmuda exshipping clerk
562
THE AGE
571
Steven SimonyiGindele publisher JeC
583
Ralph Werner department store salesman
590
Bud Freeman jazz musician
596
Ken Brown executive
601
Kay Stepkin director of bakery cooperative
607
Cathleen Moran hospital aide
613
CRADLE TO THE GRAVE
626
Pat Zimmerman alternative school teacher
635
Kitty Scanlan occupational therapist
642
Carmelita Lester practical nurse old peoples home
650
Elmer Ruiz gravedigger
658
THE QUIZ
665
IN SEARCH OF A CALLING
675
Rebecca Sweeney nun to naprapath
683
Philip da Vinci lawyer
692
Sarah Houghton librarian
699
FATHERS AND SONS
705
Steve Dubi steelworker
713
Father Leonard Dubi his son a priest
721
Jack Currier teacher adult education
729
Bob Patrick policeman
739
Tom Patrick fireman
748
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page xi - Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
Page xiii - This book, being about work, is, by its very nature, about violence— to the spirit as well as to the body.
Page xi - One of the saddest things is that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can't eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours — all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.
Page 7 - This is why you go to a tavern. You want to release it there rather than do it at home. What does an actor do when he's got a bad movie? I got a bad movie every day.
Page 3 - You know what I heard from more than one guy at work? "If my kid wants to work in a factory, I am going to kick the hell out of him." I want my kid to be an effete snob. Yeah, mm-hmm. (Laughs.) I want him to be able to quote Walt Whitman, to be proud of it. If you can't improve yourself, you improve your posterity. Otherwise life isn't worth nothing.
Page xxix - I was constantly astonished by the extraordinary dreams of ordinary people. No matter how bewildering the times, no matter how dissembling the official language, those we call ordinary are aware of a sense of personal worth — or more often a lack of it — in the work they do.
Page 10 - This is gonna sound square, but my kid is my imprint. He's my freedom. There's a line in one of Hemingway's books. I think it's from For Whom the Bell Tolls. They're behind the enemy lines, somewhere in Spain, and she's pregnant. She wants to stay with him. He tells her no. He says, "if you die, I die," knowing he's gonna die. But if you go, I go. Know what I mean? The mystics call it the brass bowl. Continuum. You know what I mean? This is why I work. Every time I see a young guy walk by with a...
Page 5 - I put on my hard hat, change into my safety shoes, put on my safety glasses, go to the bonderizer. It's the thing I work on. They rake the metal, they wash it, they dip it in a paint solution, and we take it off. Put it on, take it off...
Page xi - work ethic' holds that labor is good in itself; that a man or woman becomes a better person by virtue of the act of working. America's competitive spirit, the 'work ethic' of this people, is alive and well.

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About the author (1975)

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.

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