Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover

A Life

Book - 2016
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"Prizewinning historian Glen Jeansonne delves into the life of our most misunderstood president, offering up a surprising new portrait of Herbert Hoover--dismissing previous assumptions and revealing a political Progressive in the mold of Theodore Roosevelt, and the most resourceful American since Benjamin Franklin. Orphaned at an early age and raised with strict Quaker values, Hoover earned his way through Stanford University. His hardworking ethic drove him to a successful career as an engineer and multinational businessman. During the Great War, he led a humanitarian effort that fed millions of Europeans left destitute--arguably saving more lives than any man in history. As commerce secretary under President Coolidge, Hoover helped modernize and galvanize American industry and orchestrated the rehabilitation of the Mississippi Valley after the Great Flood of 1927. As president, Herbert Hoover became the first chief executive to harness federal power to combat a crippling global recession. Though Hoover is often remembered as a "do-nothing" president, Jeansonne convincingly portrays a steadfast leader who challenged Congress on an array of legislation that laid the groundwork for the New Deal. In addition, Hoover reformed America's prisons, improved worker safety, and fought for better health and welfare for children. Unfairly attacked by Franklin D. Roosevelt and blamed for the Depression, Hoover was swept out of office in a landslide. Yet as FDR's government grew into a bureaucratic behemoth, Hoover became the moral voice of the GOP and a champion of Republican principles--a legacy reignited by Ronald Reagan that still endures today."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : New American Library, [2016]
ISBN: 9781101991008
Branch Call Number: 973.916 HOOVE JEANS
Characteristics: vii, 455 pages,16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Luhrssen, David


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Driving west on I-80, you'll pass a little town in Iowa where Herbert Hoover was born. If you're tempted by the brown highway signs, you will pull off and learn a little about the former president. This memoir is a great follow up to such a visit.
Written with a slightly dry, fact filled style, this biography debunks the presumption that the Great Depression, which started on Hoover's watch, was worsened by his neglect. And that was the only event that defined him. In contrast, reading about his life will reveal that his engineering talents translated well into serving the public. Hoover's keen ability to efficiently organize allowed many to be fed and aided during numerous wars, famines, and natural disasters. He took those skills with him to the White House, where unfortunately he was hindered by the political world.


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