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Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive Paperback – December 1, 1992


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Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive + Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture + Native Son (Perennial Classics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Waveland Pr Inc; 1St Edition edition (December 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881337056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881337051
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #853,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

2.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Matthew B. Rumbaugh on September 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm reading a bio of each President and was actually excited to get to Hoover. I figured he couldn't be nearly as bad as his reputation and there might be some insight as to how he was so successful in most of his life, but failed so miserably as president. Alas, there is not. The book seems well-researched, but there is a stunning lack of personal detail. Almost nothing other than Hoover's offical writings are cited. No anecdotes from friends. No personal correspondance. Before he went into government, he spent most of his adult life overseas. Surely there would be some interesting tales from those adventures, I thought. None. If you have to do research on Hoover, I suppose this is a fine place to start. However, if you're a bio fan and looking for some insight into the man and the times, don't bother. To be fair, such a book may not exist or even be feasible with Hoover. This one definitely isn't it.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P. Newman on May 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Joan Hoff Wilson's book attempts to explain the life of Herbert Hoover. From what Wilson says, at the time of the book's writing many new reports and papers on Herbert Hoover were being released. Wilson states that he believed the time to be right to reexamine Hoover now that several decades have passed after the public vilified him following 1929-1932. By publishing this book and other new information being released Wilson et al. hoped that historians would look at Hoover's record again and readjust his status in society. (He published this book in 1975).

To me Wilson wrote the book in an unorganized and jumbled manner. If you are using this book as a source of research you will find some interesting points and quotes that illustrate what he was like. However, a huge problem with this is that the author does not do any sort of internal citation and instead clumps his information all at the end of the book. This makes it nearly impossible to find where a particular fact came from concerning one of Wilson's sources. The book isn't really a biography of Hoover but instead an analysis of the man based off of copious research and newly issued papers. It discusses very little about his private life and instead talks about his public record. Even then, it talks more about how he went about doing things rather than what he actually did. When reading this book you are left wondering what the author tried to say about the man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lund on April 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Joan Hoff Wilson was one of the first revisionist historians to attempt a rehabilitation of Hoover's image. Using previously unavailable sources from the Hoover Presidential Library, Wilson delivers a comprehensive account of Hoover the man - not just Hoover the president. Wilson's main argument is that Hoover's Quaker morals underpinned all his actions as both an engineer and as president. From this vantage point, it is easier to understand the path of decisions that led Hoover to delayed action during the Great Depression and established his strong negative reputation among historians. The book itself, while conceptualized well, is executed poorly as overbearing jargon and relentless use of the passive voice muddle the early sections and reduce overall specificity. Don't try to read this in one setting.
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4 of 24 people found the following review helpful By James Ronald Colyer on April 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
Hoover was blamed for the Great Depression. He had trouble with the Federal Reserve and the New York Stock Exchange. Seven months into his term, the stock market crashed. By 1932, 12 million were out of work. The good thing to come from his term was Hoover Dam, located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. This hydroelectric dam harnesses the Colorado River to produce electricity for Arizona, Nevada and California. There was controversy about the dam's name. Democrats wanted it called Boulder Dam because of Hoover's failed presidency and because it was originally to be built upriver across Boulder Canyon.
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