The secret is out: “The Confidante” may soon be published

Sara Zukowsky, Staff Writer

Photo provided by Christopher Gorham
Mr. Gorham poses with The Confidante

From hearing about her from students to digging through boxes himself to learn more about her, and even going through multiple libraries’ archives, history teacher Christopher Gorham has almost finished his thirteen-month book-writing journey since he discovered the largely forgotten personality of Anna Rosenberg and chose to share her story through his book, The Confidante. After finding boxes of her papers in the Harvard Library, Gorham decided to write about Rosenberg, an immigrant girl in New York City, who rose to so much more despite her slow start.

While working with students on research papers, Gorham found Rosenberg’s archives at Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library. After discovering a photo of her with President Truman, and learning that she had been a high-ranking official in the Defense Department, he knew he wanted to share her story.

“Opening that first box of papers at Harvard and holding in my hand the handwritten letters from FDR, commendations from President Truman, orders from General Eisenhower, and thank you notes from Eleanor Roosevelt is an experience I’ll never forget,” Gorham said.

Rosenberg was the force behind many pivotal events including the Arsenal of Democracy, the GI Bill, the Manhattan Project, and the early years of the Civil War.

“Her remarkable career lasted for almost the entire 20th century. Her story takes readers from Imperial Budapest to New York City on the brink of the Great War, from French Palaces to Buffalo arms factories, and from the Oval Office to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest,” Gorham said.

Gorham considers her to have been an important part of society in the late 1940s and ’50s, and once he saw a photo of her with President Truman, he was inspired to start his book.

The Confidante is the true, untold story of Anna Rosenberg, who [became a] teenage activist during World War I. Then, advisor to several presidents, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II.¬†She later became [the] Assistant Secretary of Defense during the critical years of the early Cold War and became the highest ranking woman ever to serve the U.S. defense establishment,” Gorham said.

Gorham was not new to writing, having experience with articles on foodie culture, the history of country music, and military history on online forums such as We’re History. Though he had experience, he does speak of the differences between writing a book and writing articles

“An article is like a chapter, whereas The Confidante is a prologue, 15 chapters, and an epilogue. So it’s like writing 17 articles that all fit together in some way,” Gorham said.

Eager to finish the manuscript by the end of the summer, Gorham will be finding primary sources from the Harvard, Columbia, Indiana, Syracuse, Michigan, NYPL, and FDR libraries before publishing. He is sending his book proposal, or a business plan for the book, out to publishers and is looking forward to a reply.

“Right now it [the book] is being shopped to publishing houses [and I am] hoping that by the end of the summer, a publisher will have bought the book,” Gorham said.