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The Crusade Years, 1933–1955: Herbert Hoover's Lost Memoir of the New Deal Era and Its Aftermath (Hoover Institution Press Publication) Hardcover – December 1, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0817916749 ISBN-10: 0817916741 Edition: 1st

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The Crusade Years, 1933–1955: Herbert Hoover's Lost Memoir of the New Deal Era and Its Aftermath (Hoover Institution Press Publication) + Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath + Stalin's Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt's Government
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Product Details

  • Series: Hoover Institution Press Publication (Book 641)
  • Hardcover: 568 pages
  • Publisher: Hoover Institution Press; 1st edition (December 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817916741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817916749
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Superbly introduced and edited by acclaimed Herbert Hoover biographer George H. Nash, The Crusade Years is far more than a simple apologia pro vita sua. It offers touching glimpses into Hoover’s rich personal life and a trenchant critique of the post–New Deal American social contract that amounts to nothing less than the cornerstone of modern conservatism. By turns intimate, humorous, and combative—even occasionally petulant—this last volume of Hoover’s memoirs will interest historians and general readers alike.” —DAVID KENNEDY is professor of history emeritus at Stanford University and the author of Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945.

“Herbert Hoover, self-styled crusader, is in full flower in these pages—part memoirist, part polemicist, coupling intimate portraiture with a public history that is profoundly relevant. Once again George Nash demonstrates an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Hoover, while assembling the former president's intellectual brief against the New Deal in a style that is both highly readable and faithful to its author’s sometimes quirky standards. Together with its companion volume, Freedom Betrayed, The Crusade Years completes at last the sprawling work of revisionism Hoover called ‘my Roosevelt book.’ It is, in fact, much more than that. It is hard to imagine any comprehensive account of those tumultuous years that fails to incorporate the evidence compiled by Hoover and made accessible to modern Americans by his foremost interpreter.” —RICHARD NORTON SMITH is a presidential historian and author, former director of several presidential libraries, and current scholar-in-residence at George Mason University.

“George Nash, always the curious academic detective, has discovered and published the private thoughts of Hoover on the New Deal. This excellent memoir edition reminds us that Hoover (1) was the chief original crusader against New Deal collectivism, (2) argued that the New Deal could be rolled back, and (3) showed what it took to be the first activist ex-president in American politics. Well done, very timely, and with a helpful introduction.” —GORDON LLOYD is professor of public policy at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University.

“With unparalleled and meticulous scholarship, editor George Nash reveals the Herbert Hoover we never knew: the prophet. It is striking how powerful Hoover’s warnings against statist progressivism remain—how easily these pages could be turned into blogposts as conservatives battle ‘progressives’ in our own day.” —AMITY SHLAES, author, Coolidge and The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Depression

The Crusade Years fills a crucial gap in the literary legacy left by our thirty-first president in the years after he left the White House. Another important piece of the Hoover puzzle, it complements Freedom Betrayed, posthumously plugging gaps in domestic policy as the earlier book did for foreign policy. Beyond the political wars, it illuminates the human side of Hoover: his family and hobbies, love of fishing, of people, and of his alma mater. The orphan’s heart also lingered long over the plight of America’s children, demonstrated by his contributions to the Boys’ Clubs of America. Editor George H. Nash provides an introductory analysis of Hoover’s life, establishes the historical context for the evolution of the manuscript, and elucidates Hoover’s motives and methodology. This long-delayed, scrupulously edited book is essential to understanding our most active and tenacious ex-president, a cornerstone in the written legacy compiled by this prolific statesman and his most indefatigable historian.” —GLEN JEANSONNE is professor of history, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and author of The Life of Herbert Hoover: Fighting Quaker, 1928–1933.

“Through tenacious and persistent scholarship coupled with artful editing, George H. Nash, the dean of Hoover scholars, has admirably reconstructed Hoover’s last literary effort, a missing link long unknown to scholars. In The Crusade Years the guarded, enigmatic ex-president candidly discusses his personal and family life and clearly articulates his objections to collectivism while forcefully arguing for a realist political philosophy based on individualism and volunteerism. The Crusade Years establishes Hoover as one of the preeminent political thinkers of the last century, a man who developed a ‘political yardstick’ useful in analyzing today’s topsy-turvy politics.” —HAL ELLIOTT WERT is professor of history, Kansas City Art Institute, and author of Hoover, the Fishing President: Portrait of the Private Man and His Life Outdoors.

“For many years Herbert Hoover worked on a memoir of his post presidential years, almost until his death at ninety. Now George Nash, the premier historian of American conservatism, has unearthed this vast work from the Hoover Institution Archives and has edited it for publication. Nash has also provided an illuminating introduction to this fine contribution to the historical record.” —MICHAEL BARONE is senior political analyst at the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and coauthor of The Almanac of American Politics.

“Herbert Hoover’s life, despite his difficult presidency, was followed by his many humanitarian works. After World War II, he worked to provide food for the new Germany. Hoover helped provide 40,000 tons of food for more than three million children. Few people, both before and after his presidency, have done more to help so many people.” —ALAN BRINKLEY is Allan Nevins Professor of History and provost emeritus at Columbia University, and author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and The Publisher: Henry Luce and his American Century.

"In his extensive introduction, editor Nash pieces together the story of how this manuscript and another 900-page volume, containing Hoover's analysis and criticism of Franklin Roosevelt's foreign policy (also edited by Nash, and published in 2011 as Freedom Betrayed, CH, May'12, 49-5253), were discovered. The primary value of this new work lies in the vignettes Hoover includes about his personal life, and the detailed account (from his perspective) of his crusade against 'New Deal collectivism,' which encompassed much of his postpresidential life." —K.J. Volanto, Choice Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

"The meticulous editing of George H. Nash, the dean of Hoover scholars, adds value to Hoover’s own work. Nash clarifies, confirms, amplifies, excises, and explains, with impeccable judgment, letting Hoover speak, but elucidating language and obscure references." —Glen Jeansonne, Annals of Iowa

From the Inside Flap

Herbert Hoover lived a phenomenally productive life, including more than half a century in one form or another of public service. It was a record that in sheer scope and duration may be without parallel in American history. Although he left the presidency in 1933 a virtual pariah, maligned and hated like no other American in his lifetime, he slowly rose from the ashes of his political downfall. He shone brightly through the final phase of his career as a former president. For the next thirty-one-and-one-half years, in fair political weather and foul, the former chief executive became, in his self-image, a crusader: a tireless and visible castigator of the dominant political trends of his day. He behaved as a committed ideological warrior more persistently and more fervently than any other former president in our history. That eventful period of his life is the main subject of The Crusade Years.

This volume is the “missing link” in Hoover’s memoirs: the final brick in a literary edifice that he began to build nearly seventy-five years ago. In its pages we learn the story of his later life, of his abiding political philosophy, and of his vision of the land of liberty that gave him the opportunity for service. But perhaps the most charming feature of this book is Hoover’s depiction of his private life after his presidency—a side of his existence that he rarely permitted the world to observe. In the first part of this volume readers will discover tender reminiscences of Hoover’s wife and sons, his passion for fishing, and his membership in the Bohemian Club that gave him surcease from “dull care” for more than fifty years. In these pages we also find amusing vignettes of his travels by auto in the American West in the 1930s, including the times the former president of the United States was stopped for speeding. In The Crusade Years we catch a glimpse of Hoover at peace as well as at “war.” It is a remarkable saga told in his own words, his way.

More About the Author

A historian, lecturer, and authority on the life of Herbert Hoover, George H. Nash has written and published the first three volumes of a definitive, scholarly biography of Hoover and the monograph Herbert Hoover and Stanford University. He has edited the monumental memoir Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath and its companion volume The Crusade Years, 1933-1955: Herbert Hoover's Lost Memoir of the New Deal Era and Its Aftermath.

Nash is also author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 and Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatism. A graduate of Amherst College and holder of a PhD in history from Harvard University, he received the Richard M. Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters in 2008.

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Albert Alioto on December 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This collection of Herbert Hoover's post-presidential writings shows him to have a been a spokesman for conservatism as eloquent as William Buckley, Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan, and as up-to-date as anyone around today. Whatever one might say about Hoover's unsuccessful presidency, in THE CRUSADE YEARS, the reader encounters a serious man who thought seriously about serious questions.

Of course, not everyone will share the view that the case Hoover made should have been persuasive then and should be persuasive now. But it would take a very shallow mind to fail to see the value of seriously considering the case Hoover made against the New Deal and the questions his principles raise about our far more overweening government today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Frances C. Kauffman on May 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must read for those living in this period (as I was) and for those younger who have been brainwashed with how Franklin Roosevelt got the country out of the Depression. It was World War II that brought us out of the Depression and the ailing Roosevelt did not serve his country effectively at the Yalta Conference with Churchill and Stalin..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RPG on July 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nash's work also leads you to Hoover's Memoirs- Vol 2. The two are key; if your purpose is attempting to understand Bernanke's
GREAT DEPRESSION Conclusions. Portions clearly reveal the misrepresentations characterizing the Hoover people's response to what became a 'four phase',four year escalation of a recessive situation. Far from just a Market Crash.
The most serious error is drawn forward to this day by the Democratic "Sausage Factory" of Policy making. They are still 'Hanging their Policy Hats' on AUSTERITY in Government being the PROBLEM in recessive times. That was mistake #1. Mistake #2 was that FDR's adoption, almost in TOTAL (never repeated anywhere but in these Historical Documents) of Hoover's Plans is never conveyed to the Public. Had they been, better management of them and early Privatization could have led the country out of the darkness.
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By GDP on September 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chances are that if you have searched for this book and have taken the time to read multiple reviews of it, you already have some understanding of Herbert Hoover and are aware of his many accomplishments as well as the rather unfair image he has in the popular mind. This book is helpful in demonstrating the extent of that unfairness.

Herbert Hoover, a person of extraordinary accomplishment and experience saw the world with remarkable clarity as a result of his native intelligence and common sense. That clarity was grounded in his training as an engineer and burnished during his career as a keen businessman (as well as manager of enormous relief efforts). The clarity with which he saw the weaknesses of Roosevelt's New Deal is made plain in this memoir, ably edited by the esteemed George H. Nash. Hoover's understanding exceeds the cause and effect of economics, but also extends to the effect of New Deal-type policies upon man's psychology and "soul" (a word some think of as archaic).

The book consists of Hoover commentary regarding the New Deal era and its aftermath, much of it quoted from earlier speeches or writings he made contemporaneous with events. Although this style does not always flow naturally but rather presents an impression of "cutting-and-pasting" (which it is, of course), it lends great credibility to Hoover's consistency of viewpoint. He's no revisionist.

There are better books for general readers about Hoover, and better books for those just beginning to explore Hoover in more depth, but few are as good as this one for capturing the man's pragmatic vision. His vision was based upon a deep understanding of the world, not wishful thinking. For those who admire the real Hoover, it is a terrific read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It's a history book every American should have read, particularly the younger generation to realize that it's necessary to have highly competent, loyal American people run Governments, Federal, State and local. So beware of smooth talkers who usually didn't spend enough time training their minds and abilities and see politics only as a permanent solution to a good income, medical expenses and attractive retirement options.
President Hoover was, in some ways a difficult individual, but he was unusually intelligent, deeply honest, a good Christian American and spent his life for the betterment of the Nation. How many of his kind do we have today??
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