Terkel understood Italy as few foreigners have and when he first traveled there in 1962 to collect his Prix Italia prize for the celebrated radio documentary Born To Live. Studs Terkel quickly integrated himself into the Italian cultural scene, spending many intimate weeks with people such as cinema legends Federico Fellini, Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio de Sica, Cesare Zavattini; writers such as Danilio Dolci, Oriana Fallaci, Natalia Ginsburg, Carlo Ginzburg, Carlo Levi; musicians Mirella Freni, Tito Gobbi, Gian Carlo Menotti, Luciano Pavarotti, Rosa Raisa and many other key figures of the post-war world with whom he formed indelible bonds and collected some of the most insightful English-language interviews with Italian artists from the 20th century.

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