Hard Times

An Oral History of the Great Depression

In this unique recreation of one of the most dramatic periods in modern American history, Studs Terkel recaptures the Great Depression of the 1930s in all its complexity. Featuring a mosaic of memories from politicians, businessmen, artists, and writers, from those who were just kids to those who remember losing a fortune, Hard Times is not only a gold mine of information but a fascinating interplay of memory and fact, revealing how the Depression affected the lives of those who experienced it firsthand.


“Wonderful! . . . It will resurrect your faith in all of us to read this book.”
“The horrors of the Depression come through vividly. . . . [Terkel’s] lifelong empathy for the disenfranchised was rooted in the troubled era recalled so vividly in Hard Times.”
—Adam Cohen, The New York Times
“Read a page, any page. Then try to stop.”
National Observer

News and Reviews

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

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Goodreads Reviews