By Ted Gup
An inspiring account of the US at its worst-and american citizens at their best-woven from the tales of melancholy period households who have been helped by way of presents from the author's beneficiant and secretive grandfather.
Shortly earlier than Christmas 1933 in Depression-scarred Canton, Ohio, a small newspaper advert provided $10, no strings connected, to seventy five households in misery. readers have been requested to post letters describing their hardships to a benefactor calling himself Mr. B. Virdot. The author's grandfather Sam Stone was once encouraged to put this advert and help his fellow Cantonians as they ready for the harshest Christmas so much of them could ever witness.
Moved by means of the stories of agony and expressions of wish inside the letters, which he stumbled on in a suitcase seventy five years later, Ted Gup at the beginning got down to unveil the lives at the back of them, looking for files and kin all over the place the rustic who might aid him flesh out the kin sagas hinted at in these letters. From those resources, Gup has re-created the influence that Mr B. Virdot's present had on every one relations. many folks yearned for bread, coal, or different prerequisites, yet many others acquired funds from B. Virdot for extra fanciful goods - a toy horse, say, or a suite of encyclopaedias. As Gup's investigations published, a lot of these issues had the ability to show people's lives round - even to avoid wasting them.
But as he exposed the discomfort and triumphs of dozens of strangers, Gup additionally discovered that Sam Stone was once way more complicated than the cute- retiree personality he'd consistently proven his grandson. Gup reveals deeply buried information about Sam's lifestyles - from his impoverished, abusive upbringing to felonious efforts to conceal his immigrant origins from U.S. officers - that aid clarify why he felt this sort of robust affinity to strangers in want. Drawing on his detailed locate and his award-winning reportorial presents, Ted Gup solves a unique kinfolk secret even whereas he pulls away the veil of 8 a long time that separate us from the hardships that united the United States in the course of the melancholy. In A mystery present, he weaves those revelations seamlessly right into a tapestry of melancholy period the United States, with a view to fascinate and encourage in equivalent degree.
Read Online or Download A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression PDF
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Additional resources for A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression
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