The Telling Takes Us Home

A Celebration of American Family Stories

Joe McHugh is a storyteller, old-time fiddler, author, and public radio journalist/producer. In 1999, he set out on a quest across the United States to record people telling their family stories, the kind of stories that get passed down in families and organizations that help tell us who we are and where we come from. They encompass the experiences of families living on farms, in small towns, and big cities, of what it was like to leave Europe, Africa, and Asia to come to America in hopes of finding a better life, of working in coal mines and in factories, of running for political office, and, well, it’s a long list but collectively these stories help tell the American story with an authenticity and passion often lacking in text books.

Listen to Some Great Family Stories  

For individual stories, visit our Stories page

For 45-minute long podcasts, visit our Podcast page

"Family stories celebrate the bedrock relationships that often exist between the generations: the lessons we learn from a mother or father, from a wise grandparent or eccentric uncle or aunt. They might not be the kind of action-packed stories served up by Hollywood but, because they arise from lived experience, they have staying power. Like vitamins for the body, family stories can help strengthen our internal emotional and psychological immune system so that we might better resist the dis-eases of cynicism, despair, conceit, and fear of others. For when all is said and done, we are all in this together and must learn to work together if we hope to forge a better future for ourselves and for those to come."

Joe McHugh interviewing Nancy Connery

Joe McHugh