This article reconsiders the generally accepted view of oral history’s trajectory as moving from an understanding of the interview as a document to an understanding of it as a text. It suggests that the movement is not so neatly linear as generally thought and considers some of the limits of both the documentary and textual approaches, particularly an overemphasis on the use—and misuse—of theory. It concludes by suggesting that the documentary and the textual need to be integrated to develop new interpretations of the past and by advocating for oral history’s public or civic value.