Hoover: A Life (New American Library), by Glen Jeansonne
Oct. 25, 2016
Few presidents were as reviled as Herbert Hoover, unfairly blamed for the Great Depression and stuck with a reputation as cold, stodgy and out of touch. UW-Milwaukee history professor Glen Jeansonne sets out to rescue Hoover in part by focusing on his undeniable humanitarian contributions during World War I and its aftermath, when he took charge of feeding the starving continent of Europe. He did so with greater modesty than many of nowadays celebrity philanthropists. As Jeansonne stresses, Hoover’s Quaker beliefs are crucial to understanding the public life of a Republican who, when examined in total, fits uncomfortably into contemporary notions of conservatism. The Shepherd Express’ David Luhrssen is credited on the title page (but not on the dust jacket) as co-author, and presumably played a role in emphasizing the progressive aspects of Hoover’s record.