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Dear Mr. President: Letters to the Oval…

Dear Mr. President: Letters to the Oval Office from the Files of the…

by Dwight Young

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Some of the letters are interesting, but the book lacks a point and a narrative thread. Not sure what I expected exactly, but perhaps it was a window into the times of each President. As a series of time capsules this book misses the mark. ( )
  Oreillynsf | Jun 20, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 142620020X, Paperback)

"The letters provide a nostalgic timeline of American history told through the words and feelings of Americans, from regular folks to kings." —Star Gazette, Elmira, NY, Dec. '05

"There are more than 80 letters, reflecting both our history and our very American sense that when we speak, our president should listen." —The Arizona Republic, Dec. '05

Drawn from the extensive holdings of the National Archives—which includes all of the Presidential libraries—these carefully chosen letters remind us that ours is a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people," which entitles us to make our views known to our leaders. Most of the letters come from working citizens; others were written by notable figures: John Glenn, Elvis Presley, Walt Disney, Ho Chi Minh, Nikita Kruschev, Upton Sinclair, John Steinbeck, Robert Kennedy, and many more.

Grouped thematically, the sections cover such topics as civil rights, the Cold War, physical fitness, joblessness, World War II, western expansion, and the space race. An introduction by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and essays by Dwight Young evoke the tenor of the times in which the letters were written. A wonderful gift book for any American, Dear Mr. President is both enlightening and fun to read.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:27 -0400)

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The right to be heard, even at the highest levels, is something Americans take for granted. Over the years countless people have taken pen in hand and begun a letter with the words Dear Mr. President. A mere toe dip into the National Archives' vast holdings, Dear Mr. President presents a delirious potpourri of 87 letters for perusal. The epistolary arts are every voyeur's secret pleasure, and the most public of public offices compels people of all walks of life, from children to the working man to the very famous, to put pen to paper. This carefully selected batch of letters, from over one hundred years of archiving letters to the President, includes such gems as the letter from a ten year old Fidel Castro to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 requesting ten bucks; an offer from Annie Oakley to President McKinley to raise a company of fifty American lady sharpshooters in the event of a war with Spain; a scrawled note on American Airlines in flight letterhead from Elvis Presley to Richard Nixon offering his services to fight the Hippie Elements; and a very moving letter about the state of civil rights from Jackie Robinson to President Eisenhower. The book opens with a 5,000 word introduction by Thomas Mallon, a well known figure who can place these letters in the American consciousness and give some further information on some of them. The letters themselves are reproduced where possible as full size facsimiles and are accompanied with commentary to help the reader place them within historical events. Some archival photos will also run with the letters, in cases where we have photos of the writer and the President together.… (more)

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