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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-logo

A Secret Gift - How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression

Ted Gup

Shortly before Christmas 1933 in Depression-scarred Canton, Ohio, a small newspaper ad offered cash gifts to seventy-five families in distress. Readers were asked to send letters describing their hardships to a benefactor calling himself Mr. B. Virdot. The author's grandfather, Sam Stone, was inspired to place this ad and help his fellow Cantonians as they prepared for the cruelest Christmas most of them would ever endure. Moved by the stories of suffering and hope in the letters, which he discovered in a suitcase seventy-five years later, Ted Gup first set out to unveil the lives behind them, searching for records and relatives to flesh out the family sagas hinted at in those letters. From these sources, Gup has re-created the impact that B. Virdot's gift had on each family. But as he uncovered the suffering and triumphs of dozens of strangers, Gup also learned that Sam Stone was far more complex than the lovable-retiree persona he'd always shown his grandson. Gup solves a singular family mystery even as he pulls away the veil of eight decades that separate us from the hardships that united America during the Depression.

Shortly before Christmas 1933 in Depression-scarred Canton, Ohio, a small newspaper ad offered cash gifts to seventy-five families in distress. Readers were asked to send letters describing their hardships to a benefactor calling himself Mr. B. Virdot. The author's grandfather, Sam Stone, was inspired to place this ad and help his fellow Cantonians as they prepared for the cruelest Christmas most of them would ever endure. Moved by the stories of suffering and hope in the letters, which he discovered in a suitcase seventy-five years later, Ted Gup first set out to unveil the lives behind them, searching for records and relatives to flesh out the family sagas hinted at in those letters. From these sources, Gup has re-created the impact that B. Virdot's gift had on each family. But as he uncovered the suffering and triumphs of dozens of strangers, Gup also learned that Sam Stone was far more complex than the lovable-retiree persona he'd always shown his grandson. Gup solves a singular family mystery even as he pulls away the veil of eight decades that separate us from the hardships that united America during the Depression.
More Information

Description:

Shortly before Christmas 1933 in Depression-scarred Canton, Ohio, a small newspaper ad offered cash gifts to seventy-five families in distress. Readers were asked to send letters describing their hardships to a benefactor calling himself Mr. B. Virdot. The author's grandfather, Sam Stone, was inspired to place this ad and help his fellow Cantonians as they prepared for the cruelest Christmas most of them would ever endure. Moved by the stories of suffering and hope in the letters, which he discovered in a suitcase seventy-five years later, Ted Gup first set out to unveil the lives behind them, searching for records and relatives to flesh out the family sagas hinted at in those letters. From these sources, Gup has re-created the impact that B. Virdot's gift had on each family. But as he uncovered the suffering and triumphs of dozens of strangers, Gup also learned that Sam Stone was far more complex than the lovable-retiree persona he'd always shown his grandson. Gup solves a singular family mystery even as he pulls away the veil of eight decades that separate us from the hardships that united America during the Depression.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Mark Deakins

Length:

10h 2m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

00:18


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

00:35


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

00:43


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

08:26


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

04:53


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

05:17


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

08:33


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

05:03


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

05:09


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

06:39


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

07:44


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

06:27


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

06:11


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

05:42


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

05:22


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

06:53


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

04:55


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

06:55


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

07:10


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

05:11


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

07:33


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

05:36


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

04:54


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

05:13


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

05:03


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

04:38


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

06:02


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

07:16


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

08:15


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

08:57


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

06:02


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

08:30


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

07:57


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

05:33


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

06:18


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

05:14


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

05:13


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

05:56


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

06:39


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

04:54


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

05:38


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

05:42


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

06:01


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

09:10


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

03:42


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

05:18


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

06:33


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

04:43


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

05:14


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

07:21


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

05:23


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

06:13


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

05:10


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

07:58


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

04:58


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

09:13


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

08:41


Chapter 58
Chapter 58

05:36


Chapter 59
Chapter 59

05:23


Chapter 60
Chapter 60

05:06


Chapter 61
Chapter 61

04:41


Chapter 62
Chapter 62

06:01


Chapter 63
Chapter 63

06:04


Chapter 64
Chapter 64

07:52


Chapter 65
Chapter 65

06:24


Chapter 66
Chapter 66

05:37


Chapter 67
Chapter 67

04:58


Chapter 68
Chapter 68

04:48


Chapter 69
Chapter 69

05:11


Chapter 70
Chapter 70

04:56


Chapter 71
Chapter 71

07:22


Chapter 72
Chapter 72

08:22


Chapter 73
Chapter 73

08:11


Chapter 74
Chapter 74

05:46


Chapter 75
Chapter 75

06:12


Chapter 76
Chapter 76

08:08


Chapter 77
Chapter 77

06:46


Chapter 78
Chapter 78

05:32


Chapter 79
Chapter 79

04:54


Chapter 80
Chapter 80

05:46


Chapter 81
Chapter 81

04:53


Chapter 82
Chapter 82

06:18


Chapter 83
Chapter 83

06:56


Chapter 84
Chapter 84

05:42


Chapter 85
Chapter 85

06:32


Chapter 86
Chapter 86

05:42


Chapter 87
Chapter 87

05:26


Chapter 88
Chapter 88

06:37


Chapter 89
Chapter 89

05:50


Chapter 90
Chapter 90

08:35


Chapter 91
Chapter 91

06:50


Chapter 92
Chapter 92

05:09


Chapter 93
Chapter 93

04:33


Chapter 94
Chapter 94

07:02


Chapter 95
Chapter 95

05:39


Chapter 96
Chapter 96

05:51


Chapter 97
Chapter 97

07:33


Chapter 98
Chapter 98

06:54


Chapter 99
Chapter 99

00:45


Chapter 100
Chapter 100

09:18


Chapter 101
Chapter 101

00:30