Herbert Hoover: The American Presidents Series: The 31st President, 1929-1933

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Macmillan, Jan 6, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
3 Reviews

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.


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User Review  - kaulsu - LibraryThing

This biography was a less than a compelling read. The author, I think, in trying to be even handed, basically wrote a book in which the reader is hoping against hope that the man would die sooner ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Slim, thoroughly satisfying account of the president overwhelmed by the Great Depression.Veteran historian Leuchtenburg (The White House Looks South: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B ... Read full review


1 The Great Engineer
2 The Great Humanitarian
3 Food Czar
4 Commerce
5 The Road to the White House
6 False Dawn
7 Crash
8 Global Disorder
9 Defeat
10 The Long Goodbye
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About the author (2009)

William E. Leuchtenburg, a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a noted authority on twentieth-century American history. A winner of both the Bancroft and Parkman prizes, he is the author of numerous books on the New Deal. In 2008, he was chosen as the first recipient of the Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Award for Distinguished Writing in American History of Enduring Public Significance.

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