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Herbert Hoover
by William E. Leuchtenburg


Overview -

The Republican efficiency expert whose economic boosterism met its match in the Great Depression

Catapulted into national politics by his heroic campaigns to feed Europe during and after World War I, Herbert Hoover an engineer by training exemplified the economic optimism of the 1920s.  Read more...


 
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More About Herbert Hoover by William E. Leuchtenburg
 
 
 
Overview

The Republican efficiency expert whose economic boosterism met its match in the Great Depression

Catapulted into national politics by his heroic campaigns to feed Europe during and after World War I, Herbert Hoover an engineer by training exemplified the economic optimism of the 1920s. As president, however, Hoover was sorely tested by America's first crisis of the twentieth century: the Great Depression.

Renowned New Deal historian William E. Leuchtenburg demonstrates how Hoover was blinkered by his distrust of government and his belief that volunteerism would solve all social ills. As Leuchtenburg shows, Hoover's attempts to enlist the aid of private- sector leaders did little to mitigate the Depression, and he was routed from office by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. From his retirement at Stanford University, Hoover remained a vocal critic of the New Deal and big government until the end of his long life.

Leuchtenburg offers a frank, thoughtful portrait of this lifelong public servant, and shrewdly assesses Hoover's policies and legacy in the face of one of the darkest periods of American history."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780805069587
  • ISBN-10: 0805069585
  • Publisher: Times Books
  • Publish Date: January 2009
  • Page Count: 186

Series: American Presidents (Times)

Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Presidents & Heads of State
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Historical - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 52.
  • Review Date: 2008-11-03
  • Reviewer: Staff

Herbert Hoover (1874–1964) would have satisfied anyone who believed a businessman would make an ideal president. In this outstanding addition to the American President series, Bancroft Prize–winning historian Leuchtenburg (The FDR Years) points out that while writers describe Hoover as a mining engineer, he was really a promoter and financier who traveled the world and made a fortune. He vaulted to fame after brilliantly organizing relief for the Belgian famine during WWI. Appointed secretary of commerce in 1920, he operated with a dictatorial manner that infuriated colleagues, but his dynamism and popularity made him a shoo-in for the Republican nomination in 1928. As president, his political ineptitude offended Congress and discouraged supporters even before the 1929 crash. Afterward, he backed imaginative programs to stimulate the economy but insisted that direct relief was socialistic and that local governments and charities were doing fine. In fact, they weren't, and this insistence combined with a dour personality made him a widely hated figure. A veteran historian of this period, Leuchtenburg brings vivid prose and strong opinions to this richly insightful biography of a president whose impressive business acumen served him poorly. (Jan. 6)

 
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