The Life of Herbert Hoover Fighting Quaker, 1928-1933

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-05-22
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Provocative, brilliantly written, and exhaustively researched, this book is the first definitive study of the presidency of one of America's most maligned and poorly understood Chief Executives. Born in a Quaker hamlet in Iowa and orphaned at nine, Herbert Hoover had already risen to wealth and global fame as an international mining engineer, the savior of Belgium during the Great War, Woodrow Wilson's Food Administrator, and perhaps the greatest Secretary of Commerce in American history by the time he assumed the presidency. Modest, shy, humble, with a subtle sense of humor, he lacked the self-promotional style of professional politicians and eschewed political invective. While in the cabinet he had helped to engineer the prosperity of the 1920s and vainly warned of an economy overheated by speculation, but the ensuing Wall Street Crash of 1929 would come to overwhelmingly define his legacy. Combining public and private resources, he made history as the first president to pit government action against the economic cycle, creating a precedent that would be employed by his successor and all other future presidents. His economic measures mitigated the effects of the Great Depression, yet they failed to end it. In foreign policy he sponsored naval disarmament and made world peace his priority. Unfairly painted as a miserly misanthrope and the architect of the stock market crash, he lost the 1932 campaign to Franklin D. Roosevelt by a slightly larger margin than he had defeated Al Smith in 1928. Glen Jeansonne's study sweeps away the cobwebs of neglect from Hoover's presidency. His lively prose humanizes Hoover for us and allows a greater understanding of our thirty-first president, one that is more valuable now than ever before.

Author Biography

Glen Jeansonne is 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.

Table of Contents

1. The Long Dusty Road from West Branch
2. Landslide
3. Prepping for the Presidency and Sparring with Congress
4. Humanizing Hoover
5. A Whirling Dervish
6. The Engine of Prosperity Jumps the Track
7. The Seventy-First Congress: Fighting the Political Wars
8. Hoover and the World: Foreign Policy, 1929-1930
9. A Polarized Party
10. Combating the Depression: Phase One, 1929-1930
11. The Seventy-Second Congress: Frustrating, Yet Fruitful
12. Fighting the Depression: Phase II, 1931-1932
13. Frustrated Farmers, Angry Veterans
14. Race, Gender, and Labor
15. The Grim Reaper Stalks the World: Foreign Affairs, 1931-1933
16. Life in the White House: Personal and Social
17. The Peter Pan in Hoover: Children and Fish
18. The Fourth Estate
19. Running for His Life: The Election of 1932
20. The Hard Interregnum
21. Fighting Quaker

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