Get A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of PDF

By Ted Gup

ISBN-10: 1594202702

ISBN-13: 9781594202704

An inspiring account of the United States at its worst-and american citizens at their best-woven from the tales of melancholy period households who have been helped by means of presents from the author's beneficiant and secretive grandfather.

Shortly prior to 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 put up 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 support his fellow Cantonians as they ready for the most harsh Christmas such a lot of them might ever witness.

Moved by means of the stories of discomfort and expressions of wish inside the letters, which he chanced on in a suitcase seventy five years later, Ted Gup first and foremost got down to unveil the lives in the back of them, looking for documents and relations everywhere the rustic who may aid him flesh out the relations sagas hinted at in these letters. From those resources, Gup has re-created the impression that Mr B. Virdot's reward had on every one kin. 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 printed, these kind of issues had the facility to show people's lives round - even to avoid wasting them.

But as he exposed the pain and triumphs of dozens of strangers, Gup additionally discovered that Sam Stone used to be way more advanced than the cute- retiree personality he'd regularly proven his grandson. Gup finds deeply buried information about Sam's existence - from his impoverished, abusive upbringing to felonious efforts to conceal his immigrant origins from U.S. officers - that support clarify why he felt any such powerful affinity to strangers in desire. Drawing on his exact locate and his award-winning reportorial presents, Ted Gup solves a unique kinfolk secret even whereas he pulls away the veil of 8 many years that separate us from the hardships that united the US through the melancholy. In A mystery present, he weaves those revelations seamlessly right into a tapestry of melancholy period the United States, so one can fascinate and encourage in equivalent degree.

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Additional info for A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression

Example text

That Populism failed to gain traction in the urban and working-class centers of the Northeast points to the failure of such an alliance, a failure usually attributed to the cultural or ideological gap between rural Populism and urban and labor constituencies. However, as explored in chapter 7, such an explanation leaves unanswered why so many wage earners and middle-class reformers did join the Populist cause. In Ohio, Wisconsin, Idaho, and other midwestern and western states, the labor movement provided the People's party with its most reliable constituency.

Although Garvin gained the office of county treasurer, Joseph N. Rogers, the publisher of the state Alliance newspaper Rural Citizen, sought to avoid political experiments that might impede Alliance efforts to boost central Texas. The pages of the Rural Citizen promoted the "salubrious climate," "fertile soil," and excellent prospects for the immigrant in Jack County. " Without such a connection, investments were virtually worthless. The Farmers' Alliance lobbied hard to convince railroad managers that Cross Timbers would provide good sources of revenue.

The old textbooks provide a standard epitaph to explain Populism's demise: the outcome was predetermined because its tradition-bound vision failed to match the requirements of a modern and industrializing society. Populism failed because Populism was wrong. At least that is how the winners explained the outcome. But the claim that Populism failed must be qualified by examining the impact it had on American life, and especially by the impetus that it provided for a wave of reform that carried into the new century.

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A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression by Ted Gup

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