Studs Terkel's Chicago

Duration: 1 hour, 1 minute

First transmitted in 1985, this documentary features acclaimed Chicagoan broadcaster and Pulitzer Prize winner Studs Terkel talking about the value of oral history and the voice of ordinary working Americans.

For over 50 years Terkel occupied a regular spot on the American airwaves and television screens. He appeared as a radio soap opera character, was a 1950s television star, was a jazz critic and was a reliable radio host for his daily show, gaining many industry accolades, including the Italia Prize, over the course of his career.

  • All American Collection

    All American Collection

    This programme is part of BBC Four’s All American - a collection of BBC programmes from the archives about US culture. Available online to watch in full.

    Go to the BBC Four All American Collection
  • More about this programme

    Studs Terkel is credited with giving voice to 20th century Americans - from the rich and the famous to the ordinary working American. Terkel talks about his search for the "essence of the truth" in people's memories and that the fact of it being "remembered" making it a part of history. His unassuming style of inquiry has helped him record thousands of interviews over a career of 50 years. Terkel tells his own story as the camera follows him in his day-to-day life in Chicago.

  • About BBC Four Collection programmes

    Programmes are selected, in part, for their historical context and reflect the broadcast standards and attitudes of their time, which may not accord to some current BBC editorial guidelines. We aim to select programmes which can be shown in their entirety but in some cases edits are required. In these cases, edits are kept to a minimum and are made only for technical reasons.


Studs Terkel
Camera Operator
Colin Walock
Michael Dibb
Alan Yentob


Featured in...

  • All American

    A collection of classic BBC programmes about US culture. Available to watch online.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.