• Herbert Hoover

  • A Life
  • By: Glen Jeansonne
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 16 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (251 ratings)

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Herbert Hoover  By  cover art

Herbert Hoover

By: Glen Jeansonne
Narrated by: Mark Deakins
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Publisher's summary

“At last, a biography of Herbert Hoover that captures the man in full.... [Jeansonne] has splendidly illuminated the arc of one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century.” (David M. Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Freedom from Fear)

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

Critic reviews

“Herbert Hoover is usually ranked near the bottom of American presidents. Glen Jeansonne’s biography of the man who was chief executive from 1929 to 1933 is a cri de coeur over what the author sees as a grievous injustice. True, Hoover did preside over the worst economic catastrophe in our nation’s history. But in Herbert Hoover: A Life, he is a fascinating and accomplished individual - the ‘most versatile American since Benjamin Franklin’ - and an idealistic, dynamic president who deserves a better reputation.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Jeansonne portrays a president more centrist than extreme, a leader who might have succeeded in a second term.... Strong - well-written and well-researched.” (Amity Shlaes, Wall Street Journal)

“Historian Glen Jeansonne’s fine biography, the first to treat [Herbert Hoover’s] entire life…has given us an exhaustively researched, balanced, and thorough treatment of an American life very much worth knowing about.” (The American Spectator)

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