Book Review: Ten Letters


Ten Letters

By Eli Saslow

DOUBLEDAY

To keep a finger on the pulse of everyday America, President Obama reads 10 letters from the public each day. Some begin “Dear Jackass” or “Dear Moron.” Others are written with style and sensitivity. Eli Saslow, a reporter for the Washington Post, tracks down and profiles 10 letter-writers from all over the map—a military officer serving in Afghanistan, a cash-strapped college freshman, a leukemia patient—whose missives affected the president and even influenced his decisions. “I will tell you,” Saslow writes, quoting Obama, “my staff is very evenhanded, because about half of these letters call me an idiot.”

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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