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A poor orphan who built a fortune, a great humanitarian, a president elected in a landslide and then routed in the next election, arguably the father of both New Deal liberalism and modern conservatism - Herbert Hoover is also one of our least understood presidents, conventionally seen only as a heartless failure for his handling of the Great Depression.
Kenneth Whyte fully captures this rich, dramatic life: from Hoover's difficult childhood to his meteoric business career, his work saving hundreds of thousands of lives during World War I and after the 1927 Mississippi floods, his presidency, his painful defeat by Roosevelt, and his return to grace as Truman's emissary to help European refugees after World War II. Whyte brings to life Hoover's complexity and contradictions - his modesty and ambition, ruthlessness and extreme generosity - as well as his political legacy. Here is the epic, poignant story of the poor boy who became the most accomplished figure of his time, who worked ceaselessly to fight the Depression yet became the public face of America's greatest economic crisis. Here, for the first time, is the definitive biography that captures the full scale of this extraordinary life.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Dan Ryan on 11-18-17
What a fascinating story!
I only knew about Herbert Hoover as president and this book, in the almost 28 hours of narration, tells the complete story about how Mr. Hoover grew up in meager circumstances, losing both parents at an early age, and then transformed himself into a business power after gaining a degree in Geology at Stanford University.
The book also takes a fair position on how Mr. Hoover was castigated by the press and the Roosevelt administration and shows the great value he placed in public service, especially when it comes to caring for the "collateral damage" in war time, namely the starving women and children in Europe.
A great book that I will probably listen to again.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By David on 07-21-18
Walking in his shoes
This book comes as close to allowing the listener to walk in Hoovers shoes as any biography I have listened to. His life was extraordinarily complex as was the man. This should be required "reading" for anyone wihing to understand the 32d president. An admirable product for a great biographer.