The Life of Herbert Hoover by Glen Jeansonne
Fighting Quaker, 1928-1933

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Synopsis

This is the first definitive study of the presidency of America's least understood, most neglected and most under-appreciated Chief Executive. Born in a Quaker hamlet in Iowa, orphaned at nine, Herbert Hoover rose to wealth and world fame as an international mining engineer, the savior of Belgium during the Great War, and Food Administrator under Woodrow Wilson. Perhaps the greatest Secretary of Commerce in American history, he helped engineer the prosperity of the 1920s and vainly warned of an economy overheated by speculation that collapsed in the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Combining government with private resources, he became the first president to pit government action against the economic cycle, setting precedents and spawning ideas employed by his successor and all future presidents. Modest, shy, humble, with a subtle sense of humor, he lacked the self-promotional style of professional politicians and eschewed political invective. His depression measures mitigated the effects of the depression yet failed to end it. In foreign policy he sponsored naval disarmament, refused to recognition territory seized by force, and made world peace his priority. Maligned as a miserly misanthrope, he was blamed for the crash and depression during the 1932 campaign, which he lost to Franklin D. Roosevelt by a slightly larger margin than he had defeated Al Smith in 1928. Jeansonne's study sweeps away the cobwebs of neglect from Hoover's presidency and his lively prose humanizes and evokes greater understanding of our thirty-first president.
 

About Glen Jeansonne

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Glen Jeansonne is a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His books include A Time of Paradox: American Since 1890; Messiah of the Masses: Huey P. Long and the Great Depression; and Women of the Far Right: The Mothers Movement and World War II, among others. His second book, Gerald L. K. Smith: Minister of Hate, won the Gustavus Myer Award, the Wisconsin Writer's Award, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography. Jeansonne has also published biographies of Barack Obama, Elvis Presley and Leander H. Perez, and more than sixty academic and popular articles.
 
Published February 15, 2012 by Palgrave Macmillan. 566 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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The Washington Times

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For years, many accepted the thesis that Herbert Hoover was the worst president of the 20th century and justly deserved the reputation of tipping the United States into the Great Depression. Moreover, the line went, he did nothing to set things right thereafter.

Nov 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Life of Herbert Hoover: F...

The Washington Times

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For years, many accepted the thesis that Herbert Hoover was the worst president of the 20th century and justly deserved the reputation of tipping the United States into the Great Depression. Moreover, the line went, he did nothing to set things right thereafter.

Nov 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Life of Herbert Hoover: F...

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