Work is about a search 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

The most floundering Studs Terkel quotes you will be delighted to read

How come you don't work fourteen hours a day? Your great-great-grandparents did.

How come you only work the eight-hour day? Four guys got hanged fighting for the eight-hour day for you.


People are hungry for stories. It's part of our very being. Storytelling is a form of history, of immortality too. It goes from one generation to another. -Studs Terkel


Perhaps it is this specter that most haunts working men and women: the planned obsolescence of people that is of a piece with the planned obsolescence of the things they make. Or sell.


I want people to talk to one another no matter what their difference of opinion might be.


Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky.

They are people who say: This is my community, and it is my responsibility to make it better. Interweave all these communities and you really have an America that is back on its feet again. I really think we are gonna have to reassess what constitutes a 'hero'.


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Quotes about People

Having been blacklisted from working in television during the McCarthy era, I know the harm of government using private corporations to intrude into the lives of innocent Americans. When government uses the telephone companies to create massive databases of all our phone calls it has gone too far.


We are living in the United States of Alzheimer's.

A whole country has lost its memory. When it can't remember yesterday, a country forgets what it once wanted to be.


Last year I picked up the New York Times and there was a story about a kid from Dartmouth who was bragging that he never left his room, and made dates and ordered pizza with his computer. The piece de resistance of this story was that he had two roommates, and he was proud of the fact that he only talked to them by computer.


Hope never trickles down. It always springs up.


Ordinary people are capable of doing extraordinary things, and that's what it's all about. They must count.


I've always felt, in all my books, that there's a deep decency in the American people and a native intelligence - providing they have the facts, providing they have the information.


I read somewhere that when a person takes part in community action, his health improves. Something happens to him or to her biologically. It's like a tonic.


About Studs Terkel

Quotes 97 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Journalist
Birthday October 16

Work is a search for daily meaning as well as for daily bread.


That's what we're missing. We're missing argument. We're missing debate. We're missing colloquy. We're missing all sorts of things. Instead, we're accepting.


But once you become active in something, something happens to you.

You get excited and suddenly you realize you count.


All the other books ask, 'What's it like?' What was World War II like for the young kid at Normandy, or what is work like for a woman having a job for the first time in her life? What's it like to be black or white?


If there is knowledge, it lies in the fusion of the book and the street.


People are hungry for stories. It's part of our very being.


You happen to be talking to an agnostic. You know what an agnostic is? A cowardly atheist.


To survive the day is triumph enough for the walking wounded among the great many of us.


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


An agnostic is a cowardly atheist.


There are nascent stirrings in the neighborhood and in the field, articulated by non-celebrated people who bespeak the dreams of their fellows. It may be catching. Unfortunately, it is not covered on the six o'clock news.


All you need in life is truth and beauty and you can find both at the Public Library.


Chicago is not the most corrupt American city. It's the most theatrically corrupt.


Tom Paine was a great American visionary.

His book, Common Sense, sold a couple of hundred thousand copies in a population of four or five million. That means it was a best seller for years. People were thoughtful then. Hope is one thing. But you need to have hope with thought.


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


I'm called an oral historian, which is something of a joke.

Oral history was here long before the pen, long before Gutenberg and the printing press. The difference is I have a tape recorder in my hand.


Most of us, like the assembly line worker, have jobs that are too small for our spirit. Jobs are not big enough for people.


Ordinary' is a word I loathe. It has a patronizing air. I have come across ordinary people who have done extraordinary things.


If solace is any sort of succor to someone, that is sufficient.

I believe in the faith of people, whatever faith they may have.


I think it's realistic to have hope. One can be a perverse idealist and say the easiest thing: 'I despair. The world's no good.' That's a perverse idealist. It's practical to hope, because the hope is for us to survive as a human species. That's very realistic.


I'm not a Luddite completely; I believe in refrigerators to cool my martinis, and washing machines because I hate to see women smacking their laundry against a rock. When I hear about hardware, I think of pots and pans, and when I hear about software, I think of sheets and towels.


With optimism, you look upon the sunny side of things.

People say, 'Studs, you're an optimist.' I never said I was an optimist. I have hope because what's the alternative to hope? Despair? If you have despair, you might as well put your head in the oven.


People are ready to say, 'Yes, we are ready for single-payer health insurance.

' We are the only industrialized country in the world that does not have national health insurance. We are the richest in wealth and the poorest in health of all the industrial nations.


I want to praise activists through the years.

I praise those of the past as well, to have them honored.


Smug respectability, like the poor, we've had with us always.

Today, however, ... such obtuseness is an indulgence we can no longer afford. The computer, nuclear energy for better or worse, and sudden, simultaneous influences upon everyone's TV screen have raised the ante and the risk considerably.


I always love to quote Albert Einstein because nobody dares contradict him.


Nonetheless, do I have respect for people who believe in the hereafter? Of course I do. I might add, perhaps even a touch of envy too, because of the solace.


My epitaph? My epitaph will be, 'Curiosity did not kill this cat'.


We hear the term independent contractors in Iraq. Independent contractors? Mercenaries!


When it comes to the news, the corporate view is `objective,' all else is propaganda.


I'd want the human voice expressing grievances, or delight, or whatever it might be. But something real


I call myself a radical conservative.

What's that? Well, let's analyze it. Go to the dictionary. Radical: One who gets to the roots of things. And I'm a conservative because I want to conserve the green of the grass, the potability of drinking water, the first amendment of the Constitution and whatever sanity we have left.


When I put the plate down, you don't hear a sound.

When I pick up a glass, I want it to be just right. When someone says, "How come you're just a waitress?" I say, "Don't you think you deserve being served by me?"


Cannot Hannah Arendt's 'banality of evil' be subject to transposition: the evil of banality?


We use the word 'hope' perhaps more often than any other word in the vocabulary: 'I hope it's a nice day.' 'Hopefully, you're doing well.' 'So how are things going along? Pretty good. Going to be good tomorrow? Hope so.'


On the evening bus, the tense, pinched faces of young file clerks and elderly secretaries tell us more than we care to know. On the expressways, middle management men pose without grace behind their wheels as they flee city and job.


People are hungry for stories. It