Hope Dies Last

Keeping the Faith in Troubled Times

The latest oral history from the unrivaled master of the genre

“No journalist alive wields a tape recorder as effectively as Studs Terkel.” —Newsweek

Hope Dies Last is Studs Terkel’s inspiring new oral history of social action in America. An alternative, more personal history of the “American century,” Hope Dies Last forms a legacy of the indefatigable spirit that Studs has always embodied, and an inheritance for those who, by taking a stand, are making concrete the dreams of today.

For Terkel, these interviews represent a change that has taken place in the last few years of uncertainty in America. From a doctor who teaches his young students compassion, to the now-retired brigadier general who flew the Enola Gay over Hiroshima, these interviews tell us much about the power of the American dream and the force of individuals who hope for a better world. Terkel’s subjects express with grace and warmth their secret hopes and dreams, combining to tell an inspiring story of optimism and persistence that resonates with the eloquence of conviction.


“If Studs Terkel were Japanese, he’d be a Sacred Treasure. . . . It’s very Terkelesque—by now the man requires an adjective of his own.”
—Margaret Atwood, The New York Review of Books
“Studs Terkel didn’t invent the oral history, but as far as modern journalism is concerned, he might as well have.”
“If you’re looking for a reason to act and dream again, you’ll find it in the pages of this book.”
Chicago Tribune

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.

Books by Studs Terkel

Giants of Jazz

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Talking to Myself
A Memoir of My Times

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Touch and Go
A Memoir

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People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do

Studs Terkel

Goodreads Reviews