By Ted Gup
An inspiring account of the United States at its worst-and american citizens at their best-woven from the tales of Depression-era households who have been helped through presents from the author's beneficiant and secretive grandfather.
almost immediately ahead of Christmas 1933 in Depression-scarred Canton, Ohio, a small newspaper advert provided $10, no strings hooked up, 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 used to be encouraged to put this advert and help his fellow Cantonians as they ready for the most harsh Christmas such a lot of them may ever witness.
Moved by means of the stories of anguish and expressions of desire 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 at the back of them, looking for documents and family everywhere in the state who may well support him flesh out the kin sagas hinted at in these letters. From those assets, Gup has re-created the impression that Mr B. Virdot's present had on every one relatives. many of us yearned for bread, coal, or different prerequisites, yet many others bought funds from B. Virdot for extra fanciful items-a toy horse, say, or a collection of encyclopedias. As Gup's investigations published, these types of issues had the facility to show people's lives round- even to avoid wasting them.
yet as he exposed the anguish and triumphs of dozens of strangers, Gup additionally discovered that Sam Stone was once way more advanced than the cute- retiree personality he'd consistently proven his grandson. Gup finds deeply buried information about Sam's life-from his impoverished, abusive upbringing to felonious efforts to conceal his immigrant origins from U.S. officials-that support clarify why he felt the sort of powerful affinity to strangers in want. Drawing on his designated locate and his award-winning reportorial presents, Ted Gup solves a novel relatives 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 Gift, he weaves those revelations seamlessly right into a tapestry of Depression-era the USA, with the intention to 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
The unresolved ambiguity in the sources and the topography are discussed by P. M. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria (1972)1: 24–25, 2: 67–71, notes 154–62. 30. -Y. Empereur, Alexandria Rediscovered (1998): 111–22. 31. I thank the Egyptian Department, especially Diana Craig Patch, of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for permission to examine the bronze crabs. For the inscriptions, see Augustus C. Merrian, The Greek and Latin Inscriptions on the Obelisk-Crab in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (1883). Replicas of the crabs were made for the obelisk in its present position.
Replicas of the crabs were made for the obelisk in its present position. 20 Cleopatra in Egypt, Europe, and New York 32. Gorringe (1882): 75–76 (citing the research of Gaston L. Feuardent); Zanker (1990): 48–53. 33. Quoted in D’Alton (1993): 11. 34. Photographs of the advertisements and cards in D’Alton (1993): 46. 35. See the essay by Maria Wyke and Dominic Monserrat in this volume. 36. For example, the academic controversies surrounding Martin Bernal’s Black Athena: The Afrocentric Roots of Classical Civilization 1 (1987), 2 (1981); criticism in Mary R.
P. Wiseman (2003): 257–74. I thank the author and the University of Exeter Press for permission to republish the essay here. 42. The poem was originally published in Arion 14(2006): 29–34. I thank the author and Herb Golder, editor of Arion, for permission to include the poem here. 1 Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt Sally-Ann Ashton The legendary Cleopatra the public knows—the passionate, infinitely various woman of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and the stylized beauty of the 1930s and 1960s films—has little to do with the historical Cleopatra, and we can gain a sense of the historical woman by considering her alongside her predecessors, the earlier Ptolemaic queens.
A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression by Ted Gup