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The Life of Herbert Hoover: Fighting Quaker, 1928-1933 2012th Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1137346735
ISBN-10: 1137346736
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Life of Herbert Hoover is an eloquently written narrative substantiated by thorough historical research and constitutes a welcome addition to the existing literature on Hoover's presidency and the Great Depression. It is by far the most comprehensive account of how Hoover's multifaceted personality shaped his relationship with the Party, Congress, and the media, and influenced his poly choices. The book will be of great value to any scholar working on that period." Political Science Quarterly

"Glen Jeansonne has produced a balanced and meticulously researched account of the presidency of Herbert Hoover. The book is the fifth in the biographical series and certainly one of the best in the series . . . This book gives attention to the complex context Hoover found himself in as president. Jeansonne is positive without being overly sympathetic and nuanced enough to keep readers' attention and raise new and interesting research agendas." The Journal of American History

"Glen Jeansonne's meticulous research and vigorous, passionate prose, creates an insightful evaluation of a misunderstood and sometimes forgotten president in The Life of Herbert Hoover: Fighting Quaker, 1928-1933. Jeansonne offers the reader a fresh look at Hoover's presidency, eloquently shedding light on how he met a demanding job during difficult times. Fighting Quaker is much more than an evaluation of a president; instead, it empathetically paints a picture of a humanitarian public servant met with an untimely economic disaster, rather than an impersonal, do-nothing president mishandling adversity. With warmth, candor, and an impressive depth of research, Jeansonne crafts a portrait of a great American." - Express Milwaukee

"The fact is, most 'conventional wisdom' about Hoover, both taught in college classrooms and coming through 'historians,' is flat-out wrong. Such is the inescapable conclusion one must draw after reading Wisconsin academician Glen Jeansonne's richly detailed account of the Hoover presidency, 1929-1933" - Washington Times

"Glen Jeansonne has produced a balanced and meticulously researched account of the presidency of Herbert Hoover. Jeansonne masterfully paints Hoover as a man of principle who compromised as best he could [. . .] but he remained faithful to his voluntarist vision. Jeansonne weaves a rich and complex narrative that for the first time allows readers to see Hoover in the Great Depression as an active, innovative leader asking critical questions about the economic and moral code of government." - The Journal of American History

"Essential." - CHOICE

"A major contribution to the scholarly literature." - Presidential Studies Quarterly

"In masterful prose, Glen Jeansonne skillfully explains how a man once heralded as the 'Master of Emergencies' was later branded as 'President Reject.' It's a cautionary tale of the contradictions between public service and political leadership and Jeansonne tells it well. This book is destined to become the standard account of the Hoover presidency." - Timothy Walch, Director Emeritus, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

"In this nuanced and sensitive portrait of Herbert Hoover as President, Glen Jeansonne invites readers to take a fresh look at the thirty-first President. His Hoover is a warmly human leader who drew upon twenty years of national and international experience to formulate a rational but ultimately unsuccessful program to combat the Great Depression. This book offers readers a fresh, impartial account of the much-criticized presidency of Herbert Hoover." - Kendrick A. Clements, professor of History, the University of South Carolina and author of The Life of Herbert Hoover: Imperfect Visionary, 1918-1928

"Glen Jeansonne demystifies and revitalizes the distorted image of Herbert Hoover, commonly perceived as a failed president, rejected by public opinion, historians, and posterity. Meticulously researched and written in an eloquent style, Jeansonne explores every facet of Hoover's presidency, going beyond any previous study in detail, thoroughness, and insight. He portrays a warm, sensitive, humane, principled, yet flexible, embattled Quaker coping with a tough job during tough times. The reader learns that while the Great Depression was the focus of president's time and energy there was much more to his administration, including his family, his social life, his love of children, good conversation, reading, and fishing, his inveterate kindness, and his gentle wit. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Fighting Quaker, 1928-1933 opens new vistas into the life and presidency of Herbert Hoover and doubtless will alter the image of the much maligned national leader whom Raymond Moley characterized as the greatest Republican of his generation." - Hal Elliott Wert, Kansas City Art Institute, and author of Hoover the Fishing President: Portrait of a Private Man and His Life Outdoors

"Glen Jeansonne has produced an impressive and provocative appraisal of Herbert Hoover's embattled presidency - and a fresh, empathetic account of a remarkable American life. Writing with vigor and flair, Jeansonne presents us a Hoover almost nobody knows but whom everyone ought to know, if we are to understand our nation's past without prejudice." - George H. Nash, author of the first three volumes of The Life of Herbert Hoover

About the Author

Glen Jeansonne is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His books include A Time of Paradox: American Since 1890; Messiah of the Masses: Huey P. Long and the Great Depression; and Women of the Far Right: The Mothers Movement and World War II, among others. His second book, Gerald L. K. Smith: Minister of Hate, won the Gustavus Myer Award, the Wisconsin Writer's Award, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography. Jeansonne has also published biographies of Barack Obama, Elvis Presley, and Leander H. Perez, and more than sixty academic and popular articles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 539 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2012 edition (May 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1137346736
  • ISBN-13: 978-1137346735
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #913,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Glen Jeansonne's new study of the presidency of Herbert Hoover differs from previous books that have appeared in the official biography series. Thoroughly revisionist, comprehensive, and deeply researched, the book's interpretation is bound to elicit both the nodding of heads in approval and the rolling of eyes in disapproval. Unlike the the previously well done studies of George Nash and Kendrick Clements, Jeansonne deals with the fulcrum upon which Hoover's historical reputation pivots, his presidency, which is far more controversial that his largely successful pre-presidential career. Jeansonne does not assert that Hoover was a great president, nor that FDR was not a great president, yet he demonstrates that Roosevelt deliberately distorted the historical record to build his reputation on the ruins of Hoover's and contributed to the deepening of the depression during the interregnum, conclusions firmly grounded in the evidence. He shows that Hoover was more active in efforts to stimulate the economy than his predecessors, though less active than some successors, and that anyone elected in 1928 would more than likely not be re-elected in 1932. The author demonstrates that some of Hoover's personal virtues, such as intellectual honesty, have been deemed political vices. Jeansonne's portrait is of a decisive, reasonably aggressive chief executive who took a centrist path which alienated both the left and the right. The style, rare for an academic, is lively, often metaphorical and imaginative, including humor, irony and candor. Moreover, the author explores Hoover's family life, his life outdoors, his love of dogs, and his personality in greater depth than previous books. It is the best book on Hoover's tenure to date, and,in many respects, quite innovative. If you wish to explore Hoover's presidency than this is the book to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In my journey through the biographies of the US Presidents in sequence, I find myself having to slog my way through this book. I wish I could eliminate the word “yet” from the author’s vocabulary. The book is filled with phrases like he was open minded “YET” somewhat secretive. If you feel that Polonius’ advice to Laertes was meaningful you will love this author’s style. I have the feeling there was an assigned number of words or pages that had to be met so the author searched for at least three ways to say the same thing. YET, I have gained a deeper understanding of the Great Depression and the government’s attempts to handle it and also how it was used as political fodder in the election campaigns.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Life of Herbert Hoover: The Fighting Quaker" is a fantastic book that challenges what people traditionally think about Herbert Hoover. The topics covered in this book go all the way from his early life and his humanitarian work, to his career as a successful mining engineer, and of course, The Great Depression, the topic that has unfairly cast a cloud over his Presidency and his reputation. This book is not only thought provoking, and well written, but it has been methodically researched. If you or someone you know has an interest in Hoover, his presidency, or `The Great Depression' this book is a must have. I would also recommend this book for anyone who is writing a paper about Hoover or the Great Depression, there is a wealth of knowledge in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
The author has a long history of writing excellent biographies of 20th century political figures. He always writes well and presents new insights. With the Hoover biography he does not disappoint. This is clearly a major work on President Hoover, solidly researched using the Hoover Presidential Papers, and relying on Professor Jeansonne's many decades' experience in doing 20th century history. This book is a great read and an important book>
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I looked high and low for an objective biography on Herbert Hoover, ordering several from the library and buying this one from Amazon. Because it's affilalited with and offered for sale on the Hoover Foundation Web site, I should have known it was highly biased in his favor. I donated the book to a local nonprofit used bookstore. A general fault of most bios is that most authors take a positive or negative positon on their subjects, sometimes in the extreme. But if you're looking for an objective bio on Herbert Hoover, I strongly suggest "An UnCommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover," a 1983 bio by Richard Norton Smith. The title, of course, suggests that Smith greatly admires the man. Nonetheless, in desperation of finding anything else, I bought it and read it. While Smith does highlight and sometimes defend Mr. Hoover, he supports his position with reason and facts (and he won me over a number of times). Moreover, he doesn't hesitate to crtiicize Hoover either. As bios go, I think it was reasonably balanced. The writing is clear, well organized and intriguing. And I learned a lot about Hoover and his era that I didn't know. The book is not easy to find, but it's around in used bookstores online and elsewhere. Three cheers for Richard Norton Smith.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book seems to be a thoroughly researched effort at revising the historical reputation of President Hoover by blaming his failure on the economic forces beyond anyone's control and partisan politics. The argument holds some interest but the book is almost impossible to read. He presents Hoover as too high-minded for political rough and tumble and as a moral paragon whose only vice was an inability to play to the crowd. Apart from this, the book is highly repetitive, overly long, and poorly edited. On the positive side, the book does lead the reader to think about presidential power in the United States -- how it is acquired, exercised, and retained. In most respects Hoover offers a negative example. And, the book discusses a number of issues that remain relevant to our political discussion today -- e.g., income inequality, the role of the federal government in economic regulation, protectionism, race relations, involvement in foreign affairs, and environmental issues.
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