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StoryCorps set out to record an oral history of America with the voices of everyday people. This book is a collection of the most compelling excerpts from more than 10,000 interviews recorded. And they are compelling. Each one captures a moment in time – historical, emotional or personal – that make us who we are. As simple stories of humanity, each one has its own potency, with themes of family, love, dedication and struggle.

--From Publishers Weekly

All Alexandria Reads 2013 Books and Resources

If you enjoyed Listening is an Act of Love, consider these books and online resources for more information about oral histories and storytelling.


Books for Young Adult Readers

Chapter Books and Picture Books for Children


Provides an overview of the StoryCorps project, links to recordings and advice on how to collect oral histories.

Alexandria Legacies
Features transcripts of interviews with long time Alexandria residents and a general overview of the value of oral history.

Radio Diaries
Radio Diaries contains amazing stories from everyday life. The organization encourages individuals to report on their own lives and experiences.

National Storytelling Network
The National Storytelling Network promotes storytelling as a performance art. This site contains numerous resources for individuals interested in learning more about the value of storytelling and regional groups dedicated to the art.

Studs Terkel
Studs Terkel was an award-winning author and broadcaster. His books of oral histories are well known for their rich documentation of American life. Many of his interviews can be found here, along with tips on using oral histories in the classroom.

Talking History
Talking History is a production and instructional center for "aural" history. The website contains a collection of speeches, debates, oral histories, etc. to explore.

Oral History Association
This site contains various technical resources and guidelines concerning oral history research.

American Life Histories, Manuscripts from the Federal Writer's Project, 1936-1940
This digital archive features almost 3,000 life histories collected by writers working for the Works Projects Administration.

Step-by-Step Guide to Oral History
Provides thorough instructions for collecting and preserving oral histories.