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An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover Hardcover – 1 Jun 1987
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I knew abut Hoover's feud with Roosevelt between the November election and March inauguration, but didn't realize Hoover had a lifelong hatred of New Deal policies and the president who championed them.
The book seems monotone at times, with maybe too much detail on meetings with specific people, perhaps because the author got much of his information from the Hoover library. But for people who want an unbiased picture of this man, I recommend this book.
Smith doesn't hesitate to criticize or compliment Hoover, always using facts to back up what he says. Hoover inherited the Great Depression seven or eight months after taking office. His critics insist he could have done more to head off the nation's worst-ever financial crisis, pointing out all that Franklin Roosevelt did from the day he took office until his death. Yet none of FDR's New Deal measures overcame the Great Depression. It ended with the beginning of World War II as the nation as a whole ramped up production and the economy to fight a vast and bloody two-front war across both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. So unfortunately Hoover still usually gets the blame for the Great Depression and FDR gets the credit for overcoming it.
This bio covers all of Hoover's life, from boyhood as an orphan to his death. It captures his life as a student at Stanford, his profession as an outstanding engineer and manager, his service in World War I to Woodrow Wilson and later to Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. And we find out why he was so revered in Europe. The book also covers his family life, including his highly-intelligent and well-educated wife.
I wrote a more informed review right after I read the book, but discovered today it didn't get posted here, probably because of some mistake I made when I went back and edited it. Anyway, this 30-something-year-old bio is truly informative, clearly written, interesting and worth your time if you have an interest in Hoover and much of the nation's history from about 1910 to his death. Cheers x 3 for Richard North Smith. I look forward to reading some of his other books, too.
As I had hoped, this book has made me much more knowledgeable concerning this great man and past President. A wonderful person who had a most wonderful life. Interesting that his life span was very nearly the exact same as Winston Churchill's!!! Both Hoover and Churchill were born approximately 9 years after Lincoln was assassinated, and died about 1 year after Kennedy was assassinated!!!!!
If you would divide the book into fourths, I must admit the first half is engaging, that the 3rd quartile is somewhat arduous, but the final fourth is interesting and enlightening.
Dr. Stanley E. Toompas, Optometrist
and author of "I'm the One the Other Isn't"
It goes into great detail about the events of his Presidency 1929-1933.
Read the book and ask yourself if there was much he could do during the depression.