Their Story Matters with Sara Troy with her guest Gisele Huff, on air from September 26th
The Remarkable True Story of One Holocaust Survivor’s Resilience, Tenacity, and Purpose
At 86 years old, Gisèle Huff is truly a force of nature. Her life has been a remarkable journey, filled with tragedy, triumph, and accomplishment. Having survived the Holocaust, where eighteen members of her family were murdered, she and her mother left war-torn France, emigrating to America with only $400 to their name. Gisèle is someone who embodies “The American Dream,” and a testament to the idea that, if you work hard in America, you will be successful. A life-long Libertarian, Gisèle ran for Congress as a Republican in 1998, but made a 180-degree ideological turn 20 years later.
In her new memoir, Force of Nature: The Remarkable True Story of One Holocaust Survivor’s Resilience, Tenacity and Purpose (August 30, 2022, Simonet Press), Gisèle tells how she embraced the value of education, earning her PhD from Columbia University and launching a career in K–12 education that spanned decades. Her tireless work to revolutionize the school system changed the lives of countless children and gave rise to the integration of technology into the curriculum. Having worked with intellectual and political giants on both sides of the aisle, including Milton Friedman, Jeb Bush (R), former governor of FL and Bob Wise (D), former governor of WV, Gisèle repeatedly champions the idea of collaboration. It was Jeb Bush who named her the “First Lady of Blended Learning.”
However, it was her late son Gerald who introduced Gisèle to the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI), a government program in which every adult citizen receives a set amount of money regularly, with no “strings attached.” As automation replaces our workforce and the idea of technological unemployment is a not-so-distant threat to our economy, Gisèle began to recognize that the “American Dream” will not be obtainable in the future as it was for past generations. At the age of 72, Gisèle began to embrace progressive values so whole-heartedly that she is now an ardent promoter of UBI and the founder of The Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity.
“Who would have thought that I, a dedicated believer in the power of the free market, would eventually head a foundation devoted to ensuring every citizen receives a basic income? I’ve learned that there is so much power in changing your mind. No matter how attached a person is to their ideas, anyone can change and grow just as I did—all it requires is an open mind.”
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:Gisèle Huff was born in 1936 in Paris to working-class Russian Jewish immigrants. She moved to the US when she was eleven and went on to earn a PhD in political science from Columbia University. For more than two decades, Gisèle served as the executive director of the Jaquelin Hume Foundation, which invested in nonprofit, national organizations that worked on transforming K–12 education. She received the Thomas A. Roe Award and the iNACOL Huff Lifetime Achievement Award. She is deeply involved in raising awareness about technological unemployment and promoting universal basic income, the legacy of her late son. She is the founder of the Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity. She lives in San Francisco, California. This is her first book.
The author will donate all proceeds of each book purchase to the Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity. For more information, please visit:
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