Listening Is an Act of Love
A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project
By Dave Isay
(Penguin Press HC, The, Hardcover, 9781594201400, 304pp.)
Publication Date: November 8, 2007
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
From more than ten thousand interviews, StoryCorps-the largest oral history project in the nation's history-presents a tapestry of American stories, told by the people who lived them to the people they love.
StoryCorps began with the idea that everyone has an important story to tell. And since 2003, this remarkable project has been collecting the stories of everyday Americans and preserving them for future generations. In New York City and in mobile recording booths traveling the country-from small towns to big cities, at Native American reservations and an Army post-StoryCorps is collecting the memories of Americans from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. The project represents a wondrous nationwide celebration of our shared humanity, capturing for posterity the stories that define us and bind us together.
In Listening Is an Act of Love, StoryCorps founder and legendary radio producer Dave Isay selects some of the most remarkable stories from the already vast collection and arranges them thematically into a moving portrait of American life. The voices here connect us to real people and their lives-to their experiences of profound joy, sadness, courage and despair, to good times and hard times, to good deeds and misdeeds.
To read this book is to be reminded of how rich and varied the American storybook truly is, how resistant to easy categorization or caricature. Above all, this book honors the gift each StoryCorps participant has made, from the raw material of his or her life, to the Americans who will come after. We are our history, individually and collectively, and Listening Is an Act of Love touchingly reminds us of this powerful truth.
Dave Isay is the founder of StoryCorps and its parent company, Sound Portraits Productions. Over the past two decades his radio documentary work has won nearly every award in broadcasting, including five Peabody awards. Dave has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacArthur Fellowship, and a United States Artists Fellowship. He is the author (or coauthor) of four books based on Sound Portraits radio stories, including Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago and Flophouse. He and his wife, Jennifer Gonnerman, live in Brooklyn.
Dave Isay's vision of collecting the everyday stories of Americans is so simple and yet so powerful. Listening Is an Act of Love will make you laugh, cry and think. These stories come from the souls of individual Americans. Collectively, they are who we are as a people. You cannot read this book without feeling proud of your country." -Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley "Dave Isay's Listening Is an Act of Love is a gift. I loved this book. I savored these stories. So candid. So open-hearted. So full of life. The StoryCorps project may well be the most important cultural event in America today. It's about us. About who we are. About where we've come from, and where we want to go. Listening Is an Act of Love is the equivalent of eavesdropping on America. Read it - and pass it on to family and friends. It'll inspire." -Alex Kotlowitz "Here are the observations and memories of a giant, diverse nation's citizens. In its sum, StoryCorps asks Americans to reflect upon their experiences, their times of travail, their achievements. In so doing, these individuals create an encompassing national narration: a people's hopes, fears and aspirations, all rendered poignantly to attentive listeners whose respect has enabled, finally, a presentation of a people's mind, heart, soul." -Dr. Robert Coles, James Agee Professor of Social Ethics, Harvard University "This book is absolutely remarkable. Listening is an Act of Love is history in the richest sense of the word, the kind that makes people feel like they count. It's a celebration of the lives of the uncelebrated. In our world today people feel helpless, but once they speak of their lives they become alive! This is what our country is all about. Never has a book been more timely or necessary." -Studs Terkel