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Herbert Hoover Audiobook

Herbert Hoover: A Life

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Publisher's Summary

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

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  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 10-26-16
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 10-26-16 Member Since 2017

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "Thought provoking"

    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.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Wagoner Fishers, IN United States 01-16-17
    Neil Wagoner Fishers, IN United States 01-16-17 Member Since 2010
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    "Very good with a couple reservations"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Stan LINDEN, TN, US 03-08-17
    Stan LINDEN, TN, US 03-08-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Worth Your Time"

    This is an account of a remarkable man. Before reading this book my knowledge of President Hoover was minimal and my viewpoint skewed by what little I knew. Basically I equated Hoover with the Depression. This book will open your eyes to a great man who had he been President earlier or later would likely be considered one of our great Presidents.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H Boyle 01-23-17
    H Boyle 01-23-17 Member Since 2016
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    "An honest review of a great American"

    This book should be universally read. Well done. It gives a look at the whole thirties era that has not been illustrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Bridgewater, NJ, United States 05-07-17
    Anthony Bridgewater, NJ, United States 05-07-17 Member Since 2016

    Just little ol' me

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    "Author is a sycophant"

    I wanted the headline to read "Got new appreciation of Hoover, but author was sycophant", but I was limited by 50 characters.

    I found this to be a fascinating biography of a president that has been so demonized in history. I am an engineer, so I really love that Hoover was a mining engineer and thought like I do in a logical and methodical way. I love that he did so much good in the food relief programs that he ran. That is the opposite of how he is portrayed. Ii was fascinated by how progressive he was in the earlier part of his life which is the opposite of how he is portrayed. He even showed some of that in his presidency, if the author is to be believed, with the programs he put into place to address the Great Depression. However, I am not sure how much of that I can believe because the author is such a huge sycophant of Hoover. He can barely say anything negative about him and spins some of the well documented negative things he has done into non events or good things. He also was much more harsh to Hoover's opponents, like FDR, than any author has ever been. He really shows his extreme partisanship there. Then he takes positive things that previous opponents have said about Hoover out of the context of when they were said much later on and cherry picks one journalist or one article that are favorable to Hoover to bolster the author's AGENDA.I don't know what I should believe as a result.

    I gave it 3 stars because of the information on his pre-presidential years, but then the author really went off the deep end. Now, I don't know how much of the pre-presidential information I should believe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian CT 04-13-17
    Brian CT 04-13-17 Member Since 2011
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    "A surprisingly influential figure"
    Would you listen to Herbert Hoover again? Why?

    Yes. I always had a less than impressive regard for Hoover. That was because his presidency is linked with the Great Depression. Now I know much more about him; how and why he was able to become president. Regardless of political persuasion, one must admit that he accomplished much to be admired.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Herbert Hoover?

    His struggle to meet the demands of Stanford.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    In general, his time in China.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Accomplishing the American Dream


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BigWally 12-16-16
    BigWally 12-16-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Superb biography of a vastly under-rated president"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Herbert Hoover to be better than the print version?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What about Mark Deakins’s performance did you like?

    He read the story beautifully.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    FDR's incredibly nasty treatment of Hoover from FDR's election until FDR died.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    Elaine D. Kirchen New York, NY 12-11-16
    Elaine D. Kirchen New York, NY 12-11-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Wildly Overdone"

    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.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Bohannon 10-21-16

    eboh

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    "Well researched, but a bit dry."

    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.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-17-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing story."

    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.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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