Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Hard Times": An Oral History of the Great Depression
First edition
Author Studs Terkel
Country United States
Language English
Subject Great Depression
Publisher Pantheon Books
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 480
ISBN 978-1-56584-656-2

Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression (original: 1970/ latest edition: 2005) is a telling of the oral history of the Great Depression written by Studs Terkel. It is a firsthand account of people of varying socio-economic status who lived in the United States during the Great Depression.

The first edition of the book was published in 1970. The 1986 print included a new introduction by Terkel. The latest edition was published in 2005.

Chapters 1 2 3 and 4 are the chapters heading out the door[edit]

  • Foreword, January–February 1986
  • A Personal Memoir (and parenthetical comment)

Book One[edit]

  • The March
  • The Song
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Hard Travelin’
  • The Big Money
  • Man and Boy
  • God Bless’ the Child
  • Bonnie Laboring Boy
  • Three Strikes

Book Two[edit]

  • Old Families
  • Member of the Chorus
  • High Life
  • At the Clinic
  • Sixteen Ton
  • The Farmer is the Man
  • Editor and Publisher

Book Three[edit]

Book Four[edit]

  • Merely Passing Through
  • Three O’Clock in the Morning
  • A Cable

Book Five[edit]

  • The Fine and Lively Arts
  • Public Servant – The City
  • Evictions, Arrests, and Other Running Sores
  • Honor and Humiliation
  • Strive and Succeed


  • The Raft
  • A Touch of Rue

Literary significance and reception[edit]

Hard Times is known for providing an equal representation of experiences across a broad spectrum of socio-economic status.[1] It has been called "A true classic! Exceptional oral history of a wide strata of Americans caught up in the 'hard times' of the Great Depression."[2]


  1. ^ "Studs Terkel’s Legacy: A Vivid Window on the Great Depression". New York Times. November 8, 2008. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  2. ^ Burris, Charles (2007-08-01) Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal: An Annotated Bibliographic Guide, LewRockwell.com

External links[edit]