In this inspiring and powerful look at the issues facing Americans today, reporter Eli Saslow creates vivid portraits of the lives of ten citizens who corresponded with President Obama. Their letters, and the president’s handwritten responses, tell of the personal struggles behind everything from healthcare to immigration to war. One mother writes to express her fears about the wellbeing of a son currently deployed in Afghanistan. A young girl in Kentucky shares her frustrations while attending one of the country’s worst schools, and the president relies on her story in his push for education reform. What these ten letters reveal about the relationship between a president and the people he governs is deeply affecting, and what ultimately emerges from within the stories is the incredible endurance and optimism of the American people.
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning collection, Washington Post reporter Eli Saslow traveled across the country over the course of a year—from Florida and Texas to Rhode Island and Tennessee—to examine the personal and political implications and repercussions of America's growing food stamp program.
Saslow shows us the extraordinary impact the arrival of food stamps has each month on a small town's struggling economy, the difficult choices our representatives face in implementing this $78-billion program affecting millions of Americans, and the challenges American families, senior citizens, and children encounter every day in ensuring they have enough, and sometimes even anything to eat. These unsettling and eye-opening stories make for required reading, providing nuance and understanding to the complex matters of American poverty.