Studs Terkel Quotes

Enjoy the top 111 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Studs Terkel.

Studs Terkel Quotes

After the stock market crash, some New York editors suggested that hearings be held: what had really caused the Depression? They were held in Washington. In retrospect, they make the finest comic reading. The leading industrialists and bankers testified. They hadnt the foggiest notion what had gone bad. You read a transcript of that record today with amazement: that they could be so unaware. This was their business, yet they didnt understand the operation of the economy. The only good witnesses were the college professors, who enjoyed a bad reputation in those years. No professor was supposed to know anything practical about the economy.
— Studs Terkel —

Most of us have jobs that are too small for our spirits.

— Studs Terkel

What I bring to the interview is respect. The person recognizes that you respect them because you're listening. Because you're listening, they feel good about talking to you. When someone tells me a thing that happened, what do I feel inside? I want to get the story out. It's for the person who reads it to have the feeling ... In most cases the person I encounter is not a celebrity; rather the ordinary person. "Ordinary" is a word I loathe. It has a patronizing air. I have come across ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. (p. 176)

— Studs Terkel

The whole program of unemployment insurance, Social Security, was a confession of the failure of our whole social order. And confession of failure of Christian principles: that man, in fact, did not look after his brother.

— Studs Terkel

We have two Governments in Washington: one run by the elected people-which is a minor part-and one run by the moneyed interests, which control everything.

— Studs Terkel

After the stock market crash, some New York editors suggested that hearings be held: what had really caused the Depression? They were held in Washington. In retrospect, they make the finest comic reading. The leading industrialists and bankers testified. They hadn't the foggiest notion what had gone bad. You read a transcript of that record today with amazement: that they could be so unaware. This was their business, yet they didn't understand the operation of the economy. The only good witnesses were the college professors, who enjoyed a bad reputation in those years. No professor was supposed to know anything practical about the economy.

— Studs Terkel

I want, of course, peace, grace, and beauty. How do you do that? You work for it.

— Studs Terkel

I hope for peace and sanity - it's the same thing.

— Studs Terkel

Someone who does an act. In a democratic society, you're supposed to be an activist; that is, you participate. It could be a letter written to an editor.

— Studs Terkel

I want a language that speaks the truth.

— Studs Terkel

An agnostic is a cowardly atheist.

— Studs Terkel

It is still the arena of those who dream of the City of Man and those who envision a City of Things. The battle appears to be forever joined. The armies, ignorant and enlightened, clash by day as well as night. Chicago is America's dream, writ large. And flamboyantly.

— Studs Terkel

The issue is jobs. You can't get away from it: jobs. Having a buck or two in your pocket and feeling like somebody.

— Studs Terkel

Reading a book should not be a passive exercise, but rather a raucous conversation.

— Studs Terkel

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