Interview with Simone de Beauvoir

Studs in Paris with Simone de Beauvoir

There are many things to be learned from Studs’s 1960 interview with Simone de Beauvoir in her Paris apartment, but perhaps one of the most charming bits of trivia, is that even a philosopher and feminist icon like Simone de Beauvoir made up silly quizzes with her girlfriends when she was sixteen. Only this silly quiz had a profound result, it was one of the first moments Beauvoir realized writing was her destiny.

From there their conversation deepens, as Studs and Beauvoir discuss her upbringing, how she became a writer, the philosophical aspects of her writing, and being committed to what you believe. To listen click the player below:

Interview with Doris Lessing

An Interview with Doris LessingStuds & the Children of Violence

British author and Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing has been called “that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilization to scrutiny”, and Stud’s conversation with her in 1969 doesn’t disappoint.

In this interview with Doris Lessing, she discusses her book The Four-Gated City, the fifth and final volume of her Children of Violence series, the treatment of mental illness and how future generations will judge history.

Interview with Muhammad Ali

Interview with Muhammad Ali

Studs & the Greatest Boxer in the World

Studs Terkel was a champion of a working folk and icons alike, and sometimes, he even managed to bring the two together. In this 1975 interview with Muhammad Ali, Studs asks him about how racism can be defeated by the power of outsiders coming to work together.

Muhammad Ali also reads excerpts from his book – The Greatest: My Own Story (with Richard Durham) – and discusses his life, touching on his childhood in Louisville, not being served at a restaurant in his hometown after winning the 1960 Olympic gold medal, why people root for and against him, and fighting for what you believe.


Photo credit: By Ira Rosenberg – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3c15435.

Interview with Buster Keaton

interview with buster keaton

 Uncovering the Secrets of Silent Films

Out of the hundreds of hours of audio the Library of Congress has been digitizing for us, we could only choose a couple shows to feature on our main page, but we think we made the right decision in featuring this interview with Buster Keaton.

Nicknamed “the Great Stone Face”, Buster Keaton‘s combination of extreme pratfalls and understated facial expressions left an indelible print on American cinema. If you don’t believe us, ask Orson Wells! He personally dubbed Keaton’s film The General  “the greatest comedy ever made”.

Studs Terkel had the privilege of speaking with Keaton in 1960, only six years before Keaton passed away from lung cancer. Their conversation touches on the art of making a silent film and answers such important questions as how many subtitles should a silent movie have, who should you never throw a pie at, and why does Buster never smile. He also discusses the influence of Charlie Chaplin on film and the virtues of a live audience.

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