Cover image for Uncommon Americans : the lives and legacies of Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover
Uncommon Americans : the lives and legacies of Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover
Walch, Timothy, 1947-
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, [2003]

Physical Description:
xii, 314 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Added Author:
Format :


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E802 .U526 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This first joint biography of the Hoovers will reshape Herbert Hoover's image as a man who did little more than sit in the White House while the country suffered. Both Hoovers were dynamic, uncommon Americans who made enormous contributions to mankind, before, during, and after the presidency. Walch, Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, brings together contributions from leading scholars who have conducted extensive research into the lives of this extraordinary couple, placing them in a national and international context. He hopes to entice more historians to delve into the intricacies of their lives.

Author Notes

TIMOTHY WALCH is the director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in the president's birthplace of West Branch, Iowa. The Hoover Library is one of ten such libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Educated at the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University, Walch is the author of fifteen books, including Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt (Greenwood, 1998), Herbert Hoover and Harry S Truman (1992), At the President's Side (1997), and Farewell to the Chief (1990).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

These 17 short articles on Herbert Hoover, mainly by historians, are based largely on material from the Hoover Presidential Library. The quality and depth of the articles are uneven and somewhat revisionist, in that they try to rescue Hoover from the general perception that he was a poor president. The articles on his pre-presidential years are particularly good and clearly demonstrate Hoover's drive and ability. Kendrick Phillips's "Agent of Change" is outstanding and whets one's appetite for the fourth volume of the Hoover biography, on his years as Secretary of Commerce, to be written by Phillips. Two articles by George Nash, author of the first three volumes of the Hoover biography (CH, Sep'83; Mar'89; Jan'97), are excellent. Subsequent articles are not as good (especially on foreign policy), but generally confirm Hoover's timidity in the face of the Depression and his bitterness in retirement. Although the title includes Lou Hoover, one will look in vain for any significant writing about her life and role. Too many footnotes and no bibliography reduce the value of the book for general readers. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Most collections. C. R. Lovin emeritus, Western Carolina University

Table of Contents

John W. CarlinTimothy WalchGeorge H. NashNancy Beck YoungHendrik Booraem VJohn Milton Cooper, Jr.George H. NashRichard Norton Smith and Timothy WalchSusan Estabrook KennedyKendrick A. ClementsFred A. BjornstadRegina Lee BlaszczykDavid E. HamiltonMartha H. SwainAlfred L. CastleDavid A. QuigleyGary Dean BestHal Elliott WertTimothy WalchMichael J. BirknerRichard Norton Smith
Forewordp. xi
Introductionp. 1
I. First Thoughtsp. 7
Herbert Hoover: Political Orphanp. 9
Searching for Lou Henry Hooverp. 19
II. Formative Yearsp. 25
The Fascination of What's Difficult: Herbert Hoover and Geologyp. 27
Not So Innocent Abroad: The Hoovers' Early Yearsp. 39
III. Helping Handsp. 49
Determined Humanitarians: Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover in Europep. 51
Orphan Boy: Herbert Hoover and Childrenp. 67
Pioneer Girl: Lou Henry Hoover and the Girl Scoutsp. 79
IV. Progressive Idealsp. 91
Agent of Change: Herbert Hoover as Secretary of Commercep. 93
Herbert Hoover, Housing, and Socioeconomic Planning in the 1920sp. 107
No Place Like Home: Herbert Hoover and the American Standard of Livingp. 113
V. That Glorious Burdenp. 137
War on a Thousand Fronts: Herbert Hoover and the Great Depressionp. 139
Prelude to the New Deal: Lou Henry Hoover and Women's Relief Workp. 151
Herbert Hoover and the Elusive Quest for Peacep. 167
Assessing the Hoover Presidencyp. 183
VI. Exile and Returnp. 193
The Loyal Opposition: Herbert Hoover and the Republican Partyp. 195
Years of Frustration: Herbert Hoover and World War IIp. 209
"Some of My Best Friends Are Democrats": Herbert Hoover and the Kennedy Familyp. 225
Elder Statesman: Herbert Hoover and His Successorsp. 237
VII. The Last Wordp. 247
Herbert Hoover and the Third Wayp. 249
Notesp. 263
Indexp. 305
About the Contributorsp. 311