Category Archives: Book Notes

Notes on The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 (2019) by Garrett M. Graff

If there were any doubts about the high regard with which Former First Lady Michelle Obama is held by the American public, her 2018 memoir Becoming surely put them to rest: the book sold more copies in the U.S. than … Continue reading

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Notes on Missing Pages: Black Journalists of Modern America: An Oral History (2007) by Wallace Terry

Though they are far from over, the massive global protests that have arisen in response to the murder of George Floyd, police violence broadly, and white supremacy generally have produced a number of remarkable and much-needed effects already. Of special … Continue reading

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Notes on Tibetan Resettlement Stories: Voices of Boston (2019)

Knowing about my past work in Buddhist studies, and current work on oral history, one of my students very thoughtfully loaned me a book: Tibetan Resettlement Stories: Voices of Boston (2019), an oral history assembled by members of the eponymous … Continue reading

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Notes on The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests (2016) by Chris Smith

Just a couple of issues ago, in the pages of the Oral History Review, Troy Reeves offered an exacting appraisal of Chris Smith’s New York Times bestseller The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, … Continue reading

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Notes on September 11: An Oral History (2002) by Dean E. Murphy

Ahead of reading Garrett M. Graff’s newly-released The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 (2019), I decided to take a look at another oral history of the tragedy — one I’d not read before: then New … Continue reading

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Notes on Notes from the Field (2019) by Anna Deavere Smith

I started blogging about oral history as a mode within the documentary arts not just to “teach” about this kind of work, but also to educate myself; though I’m already actively working in this mode, there’s still a lot that … Continue reading

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Notes on The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II (1985) by Svetlana Alexievich

Last week, Sara Danius, the first woman to serve as Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy — the “independent cultural institution” which has, since 1901, been responsible for choosing each year’s laureate for the Nobel Prize in Literature — passed … Continue reading

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Notes on “The Good War”: An Oral History of World War II (1984) by Studs Terkel

“The ordinary person feels not only as good a being as I am; rather he feels somewhat superior. The average American has an indigenous intelligence, a native wit. It’s only a question of piquing that intelligence.” – Studs Terkel As … Continue reading

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