Division Street

America

A new paperback edition of the groundbreaking book that first made Studs Terkel a household name

“A city speaks uninhibitedly through this book. . . . As informative as a social study and as fascinating as the dialogue of a play.” —Nadine Gordimer

Division Street, Studs Terkel’s first book of oral history, established his reputation as America’s foremost oral historian and as “one of those rare thinkers who is actually willing to go out and talk to the incredible people of this country” (in the words of Tom Wolfe).

Viewing the inhabitants of a single city, Chicago, as a microcosm of the nation at large, Division Street chronicles the thoughts and feelings of some seventy people from widely varying backgrounds in terms of class, race, and personal history. From a mother and son who migrated from Appalachia to a Native American boilerman, from a streetwise ex–gang leader to a liberal police officer, from the poorest African Americans to the richest socialites, these unique and often intimate first-person accounts form a multifaceted collage that defies any simple stereotype of America.

As Terkel himself put it: “I was on the prowl for a cross–section of urban thought, using no one method or technique. . . I guess I was seeking some balance in the wildlife of the city as Rachel Carson sought it in nature. Revealing aspects of people’s lives that are normally invisible to most of us, Division Street is a fascinating survey of a city, and a society, at a pivotal moment of the twentieth century.

Praise

“Totally absorbing.”
The New Yorker
“A cross-section of all that is contained in humanity.”
Chicago Tribune
“Reports not only multitudes divided, but the division in ourselves . . . as exciting as a good novel.”
—Nelson Algren
“Remarkable. . . . Division Street astonishes, dismays, exhilarates.”
The New York Times

News and Reviews

Get 30% off these selected titles by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel with code TNPSTUDS through May 31:

In March 1970, Maya Angelou sat down with Studs Terkel for a radio interview about her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Books by Studs Terkel

The Studs Terkel Interviews
Film and Theater

Studs Terkel

“The Good War”
An Oral History of World War II

Studs Terkel

Hope Dies Last
Keeping the Faith in Troubled Times

Studs Terkel

American Dreams
Lost and Found

Studs Terkel