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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.
"A luminous book. . . . Saslow has found his way around the cynicism and superficiality of Washington politics to show the profound real-life connections between the White House and the people." —David Maraniss
"Saslow has a feel for the tender spots in these people's stories. . . . The plainspokenness, decency and human dignity they display leave a lasting impression.” —Washington Post
"In this testament to the power of the written word, the country's most vexing challenges, from immigration to education, healthcare to housing, are seen through the eyes of both persons directly affected by them and one person uniquely positioned to do something about them." —Booklist