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  • A discussion between author and editor
  • 03.21.2007
    Stop Smiling Storefront

sponsored by:

  • 312 and Chicago Public Radio

At the age of 94, Studs Terkel is as feisty and culturally voracious as ever. On the evening of March 21st, Studs and his editor and publisher of 40 years, André Schiffrin, took the stage at the Stop Smiling storefront for a discussion about politics, publishing and youth. Seated between Studs and Schiffrin was Chicagoan Rick Kogan, the husky-voiced media guru who acted as moderator.

Schiffrin was inspired to write his new memoir, A Political Education: Coming of Age in Paris and New York, after living in Paris in 2003. In the preface, Schiffrin writes that he had “resisted saying some things in my first book, partly because I hadn’t wanted to write anything too close to my personal life, partly because I had kept from myself many aspects of my own turbulent history…” If his previous autobiography appeared furtive, Schiffrin’s intimate discussion about his latest book left few topics untouched. Exile, journalism, democracy, Vichy and illness were all discussed in front of an audience that was perhaps Stop Smiling’s most diverse. At one point Studs raised his clenched fist and announced he didn’t need to visit the doctor anymore, because the youthful crowd made him feel better than any medicine possibly could.

Left humbled and hopeful about the ideas and principles discussed onstage, many in attendance were thankful for the opportunity to attend a magical night with two acclaimed international legends.

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photography by: John Kuttenberg

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