A Secret Gift
How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression
By Ted Gup
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143120001, 384pp.)
Publication Date: October 25, 2011
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"A wonderful reminder that economic hardship can bring suffering but can also foster compassion and community." -The Boston Globe
In hard economic times like these, readers will find bestselling author Ted Gup's unique book uplifting as well as captivating. Inside a suitcase kept in his mother's attic, Gup discovered letters written to his grandfather in response to an ad placed in a Canton, Ohio, newspaper in 1933 that offered cash to seventy-five families facing a devastating Christmas. The author travels coast to coast to unveil the lives behind the letters, describing a range of hardships and recreating in his research the hopes and suffering of Depression-era Americans, even as he uncovers the secret life led by the grandfather he thought he knew.
Ted Gup is the author of the bestseller The Book of Honor and of Nation of Secrets. He is a professor and chair of the journalism department at Emerson College. A former investigative reporter for The Washington Post and Time, he has also written for The New York Times, Newsweek, GQ, Slate, and Salon.com.