Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President

Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President

by Eli Saslow
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Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President by Eli Saslow

Every day, President Obama reads ten representative letters among the thousands he receives from citizens across the land. The letters come from people of all ages, walks of life, and political points of view. Some are heart­breaking, some angry, some hopeful. Indeed, Obama reads as many letters addressed “Dear Jackass” as “Dear Mr. President.” Eli Saslow, a young and rising star at the Washington Post, became fascinated by the power of these letters and set out to find the stories behind them.

Through the lens of ten letters to which Obama responded personally, this exceptionally relevant and poignant book explores those individual stories, taking an in-depth look at the misfortunes, needs, opinions, and, yes, anger over the current state of the country that inspired ten people to put pen to paper. Surprisingly, what also emerges from these affecting personal narratives is a story about the astounding endurance and optimism of the American people.

Ten Letters
is an inspiring and important book about ordi­nary people and the issues they face every day—the very issues that are shaping America’s future. This is not an insider Washington book by any means, but a book for the times that tells the real American stories of today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385534307
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/11/2011
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 9.46(w) x 6.44(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

ELI SASLOW is a staff writer at the Washington Post, where he covered the 2008 presidential cam­paign and has chronicled the president’s life inside the White House. Previously a sportswriter for the Post, he has won multiple awards for news and feature writing. Two of his stories have also appeared in Best American Sports Writing.

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Ten Letters 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
The_Book_Wheel_Blog More than 1 year ago
A few weeks ago I received an email about a Washington Post author who was visiting the local school’s campus to sign copies of his new book. I had never heard of the book itself, but the title sounded vaguely familiar, so I hopped on Google and did a little searching. It turns out that the book sounded familiar because it was familiar. “Ten Letters” was, in fact, something that President Obama reads on a daily basis. The author, Eli Saslow, is a Washington Post writer and this fact may have been more exciting to me than the book itself (until I read it, that is). As a self-proclaimed news junkie, any brush with the Post is exciting, so I ran out and bought, quite literally, the last copy of the book in town. I didn’t have time to read it before I had it signed, but I met the author and vowed to read it soon. It’s now a few weeks later and I was finally able to read the book.”Ten Letters” is made up of ten chapters, each one following the stories of various individuals who wrote the President and received a response. It is so powerful that the local college, University of North Carolina Wilmington, has its own version of it that is handed out to every single incoming freshman. It is, I believe, required reading for their English classes and reiterates the power of one single voice. I’m half tempted to write the President a letter, too, because this is a book that will resonate with every reader. “Ten Letters” explores the issues that everyday Americans encounter, including a lack of access to education, rising health costs, the BP oil spill, and more. Each of these issues and stories is familiar. I could personally identify with the effects of the rising costs of healthcare and higher education. I sympathized with Jessica Duran, a high schooler who couldn’t find a part-time job to pay the bills. My heart broke for Na’Dreya Lattimore, the fifth grader that felt she was being shafted in her pursuit of a quality education. I cried reading about Jon Santos and the It Gets Better Project. And while each of the writers received a personal response from the President, only some had a happy ending. I know it is unrealistic to expect a happy ending in a book that chronicles real life issues, but for some reason I went into the book thinking that those were the only letters that would be chosen. Despite this reality, the book is a wonderful read. It opened my eyes to the people affected by the issues, not to the issues themselves. I think that in today’s world it is very easy to become disconnected from those around us. The media bombards us with sad stories and statistics, but rarely do we get to dive deep into the lives of the people living the stories. This book lets us do just that.
MistyATX More than 1 year ago
This book is very well written and filled with touching stories, as well as historic events. No reader will be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now try result five...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I brought this book for myself and also gave it as a holiday gift. The Ten Letters is welles. written and I enjoyed reading the stories.
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