The definitive biography of one of the United States' most controversial presidents: Herbert Hoover.
Prize-winning 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. After 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 and that still endures today.
A compelling and rich examination of his character, accomplishments, and failings, this is the magnificent biography of Herbert Hoover we have long waited for.
©2016 Glen Jeansonne (P)2016 Penguin Audio
I am an avid eclectic reader.
After working in the Palo Alto area around Stanford University, I thought I knew about Hoover. There are more buildings named for Herbert Hoover in the area than any place else. This is Hoover country. But After reading Jeansonne’s new book on Hoover, I realized I knew very little about this most interesting man.
Professor Jeansonne dismisses previous assumptions about Hoover and reveals a political progressive in the mold of his fellow Republican, Theodore Roosevelt. I acquired some great trivia information from the book. Did you know that Herbert Hoover saved more lives than any man in history? In WWI and WWII, he was responsible for feeding and providing medical care to all the refugees from the Wars. He saved 1.3 million Russians from starvation in spite of the actions of Stalin. It was Hoover that had the first telephone placed on the President’s desk in the oval office. Hoover made a fortune as an engineer and businessman. He was a gifted administrator, organizer and a brilliant logistics expert.
Hoover was labeled the “Do-nothing” President but Jeansonne proves that wrong. Hoover had a dysfunctional and divided congress but Hoover did manage to get some legislation through that laid the groundwork for the “New Deal”. In Hoover’s first eight months in office he reformed the prisons, improved worker’s safety and fought for health and welfare for children. He also had reduced the federal government to its smallest size in years and was reducing the military.
The book is well written, meticulously researched and an insightful evaluation of a misunderstood and forgotten president. I felt the author repeated himself too often, which I found annoying. The author attempts to correct the distorted image of Herbert Hoover. Jeansonne provides an impressive and provocative evaluation of Hoover. In my opinion, Jeansonne attempts to balance his evaluation of Hoover. He points out his failures as well as his achievements. It is apparent that the author is attempting to correct an image, but I do not feel he crossed the line into a hagiographic biography. The book is fairly long at about seventeen hours.
Jeansonne is a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin.
Mark Deakins does an excellent job narrating the book. Deakins is an actor and multi-award winning audiobook narrator.
This was an excellent biography. However there were times it was repetitious, and while he tried to be fair, author's political bias occasionally became distracting especially in any parts dealing with FDR and The New Deal.
I have not read the print edition so I really can't compare them. However, the audio edition is superbly done. The reader is one of the best to whom I have listened, and I have listened to a lot of audio books.
I now have a greater appreciation for Herbert Hoover. He was a brilliant man who served all of humanity without thought of enriching himself. He may be the man most responsible for saving more lives from starving to death than any person in history. Unfortunately, he was president when The Great Depression began. It is interesting to speculate how things would have gone if FDR had been elected in 1928 and Hoover in 1932 or if Hoover had never been president. He would probably gone down in the history books as one of America's greatest humanitarians.
I think the despicable treatment of Hoover by FDR was unconscionable. Between his election in November of 1932 and taking office in March of 1933, FDR did absolutely nothing to help the country by assisting Hoover. FDR wanted the country to suffer as much and as long as possible so that he could 'ride in on a white horse" and rescue the country. Ironically, FDR pursued many of the same policies Hoover used. FDR did not end the Great Depression, WWII helped the nation back to recovery along with other factors.
The Democrats used Hoover and The Great Depression for the next 30-40 years as a reason why the country should never elect another Republican. Harry Truman, among others, realized the greatness of Hoover and treated him with respect.
He read the story beautifully.
FDR's incredibly nasty treatment of Hoover from FDR's election until FDR died.
The book really opened my eyes to what a kind and generous man Herbert Hoover was. He has suffered too long at the hands of the worshipers of FDR, in particular the liberal historians.
I'm a history teacher and will add the Herbert Hoover story to the lies we have been told by liberal, elitist historians. This book will be one of my favorites of all time. Well written and thoroughly documented.
One of the worst books I have ever listened to. The author has wildly exaggerated Hoover's accomplishments to the point that the entire book looses its credibility. I expected a straightforward book about the President. Instead, I got a biased account of him that was cloying and useless.
No audible books on Harvard available, I was gratified to have an opportunity to listen to this one. I learned a lot about Herbert Hoover's political and humanitarian contributions. I also very much enjoyed the chapters detailing his childhood and early life.it's heavy on political
discourse, and might have benefited from a bit more relational content.
It was such a joy to hear of this great President and even better humanitarian. President Hoover has been vilified by the hateful and LYING democrats for causing the Great Depression - for they well knew the Great Depression emanated in 12 European countries months before October 29, 1939 - but the fact of the matter is Franklin Roosevelt utilized many of the measures Hoover attempted to get through during his administration, then bastardized them with his unconstitutional New (RAW) Deal.
Herbert Clark Hoover had more wisdom and integrity in his little finger than the woman who will be elected POTUS in 3 days has in her whole body. Period.
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