Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library
author talk and book signing:
Former investigative reporter for
The Washington Post and Time magazine
TED GUP to speak about his new book
A SECRET GIFT:
HOW ONE MAN’S KINDNESS – AND TROVE OF LETTERS –
REVEALED THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION
December 5, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.

HYDE PARK, NY — The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum is pleased to present an author talk and book signing with former investigative reporter for The Washington Post and Time magazine TED GUP at the Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Education Center on Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. Prof. Gup will speak about his new book A SECRET GIFT: HOW ONE MAN’S KINDNESS – AND TROVE OF LETTERS – REVEALED THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION. Following the presentation, Prof. Gup will be available to sign copies of his book. This event is free and open to the public.

During the Great Depression, Canton, Ohio (author Ted Gup’s hometown) suffered more than most. Unemployment was near fifty-percent, and people were not only losing their jobs and homes, but their spirit to go on.

When things seemed their bleakest, a man who called himself B. Virdot took out an ad in the local newspaper the week of Christmas, 1933. He offered to send $10 (then a small fortune) to 75 families who wrote to him and described their plight. No one would ever know his real name nor would he ever reveal the names of those who wrote him. In the end, the response was so overwhelming he had to halve the money to send checks to 150 families. True to his word, he never revealed his identity or those who had appealed to him.

Seventy-five years later, Ted Gup’s mother handed him a suitcase and inside were the letters written to B. Virdot. Virdot was Sam Stone, his grandfather. A SECRET GIFT: HOW ONE MAN’S KINDNESS – AND TROVE OF LETTERS – REVEALED THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION is the story of what became of those who wrote to Sam Stone and why he made the gift in the first place. In solving one mystery, Gup discovered others, concealed truths that came as a shock even to Sam Stone’s own children and grandchildren.

TED GUP was born and raised in Ohio, where his ancestors first settled some 150 years earlier. Since August, 2009, he has been Professor and Chair of the Department of Journalism at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Prof. Gup is the author of two previous books: Nation of Secrets: The Threat to Democracy and the American Way of Life (2007), winner of the Shorenstein Book Prize from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and the bestselling The Book of Honor: Covert Lives And Classified Deaths At The CIA (2000).

A former investigative reporter for The Washington Post and Time magazine, he was the Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism at Case Western Reserve University from 1999-2009. He has been a grantee of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, a Fellow of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics & Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Fulbright Scholar. He and his wife live in Boston, Massachusetts and Bucksport, Maine.

Copies of Prof. Gup’s book will be available for sale after the talk. There is no charge for this program. Please contact Cliff Laube at (845) 486-7745 or email clifford.laube@nara.gov with questions about the event.

The Roosevelt Library will make every effort to address all requests for reasonable accommodation. If you need to request an accommodation (e.g., sign language interpreter) for a program please contact Cliff Laube at (845) 486-7745 or email clifford.laube@nara.gov at least one week prior to the program/event to ensure proper arrangements are secured. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.