New Internationalist


September 2009

A graphic adaptation of the book by Studs Terkel by Harvey Pekar and Paul Buhle

In the early 1970s, legendary American author, historian, actor and broadcaster Studs Terkel travelled the country interviewing ordinary people about the work they did. The result was the highly-acclaimed Working. 

Since publication in 1974 the book has been made into a Broadway show and adapted for PBS television. Widely regarded as a masterpiece of oral history it has now been turned into a cartoon book. All of Terkel’s subjects are here – miners, farmers, barbers, hookers, box boys and stockbrokers – in cartoon form but with their testimonies intact.

Cartoon books are not everybody’s cup of tea; it seems you either love them or hate them. But somehow this one works, if for no other reason than the extraordinary triumph in the words of the protagonists. In an age obsessed by celebrity it’s refreshing to find a work devoted to the quotidian life and existence of ordinary, working people. This adaptation will help introduce Terkel’s most powerful work to a new generation.


This column was published in the September 2009 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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Product information The New Press ISBN 978 1 59558 321 5
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This article was originally published in issue 425

New Internationalist Magazine issue 425
Issue 425

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New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

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