Joan Hoff Wilson’s is an interesting and insightful book exploring the life of one of the least favored presidents of America, with a sensitive and objective eye. Herbert Hoover’s career moved in a usual pattern familiar in the history of the United States. Majority of the political giants had a similar background. Humble beginnings outperformed by hard work and fantastic ambition, wealth, public service and, ultimately, the mightiest throne, presidency. He gathered morals and values that he maintained throughout his life while climbing the ladders of success. These values finally made an unbridgeable gulf between him and the citizens of United States, as he had to face the Great Depression soon after occupying an office. There was only little comprehension between the Herbert Hoover and the people who looked to him for leadership. He became quite unpopular and isolated in his later years. He was disowned by his own party and had very few followers at last. He was embittered by false understanding and was burdened with the blame of the depression. Joan Hoff Wilson’s Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive seeks to shed light on Joan Hoff Wilson, his career, and also on the evolving nation that rejected him.
I was going though the biographies of all the presidents of America and was actually excited to get to Herbert Hoover. I figured that he must not have been as bad as his bad name even though he stumbled in the crucial points. I wondered how successful he was in most of his life and failed so miserably in the Presidentship. Joan Hoff Wilson’s Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive is well-researched, even though there is a stunning lack of personal detail. Only citing that is included in the book is Hoover's official writings. No anecdotes from friends have been included in the book. Personal correspondence is also missing fully. Herbert Hoover spent majority of his adult life overseas before becoming a part of the government. I had expected some interesting tales from those adventures, but none were present.
Wilson, J. H. Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive.
Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 1992.
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