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{{Officeholder/secretary (cabinet)
|president=[[Warren G. Harding]]<br/>[[Calvin Coolidge]]
|terms=March 5, 1921 – August 21, 1928
|preceded=Joshua W. Alexander
|succeeded=William F. Whiting

}} Herbert Clark Hoover<ref></ref> was the 31st President of the United States of America 1929-33, a “big-government Republican”<ref>The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal | reviewed in ''The Freeman''</ref> whose economic policies accelerated the collapse of the U.S. economy into the Great Depression. He was defeated for reelection by Franklin D. Roosevelt in a major realignment that marked the beginning of the New Deal and the Fifth Party System. Hoover lived another three decades, leading the isolationists in foreign policy and working with his friend President Harry S. Truman to reform the federal bureaucracy. He was a bitterly reviled target of liberal and Democratic hatreds, while hailed by conservatives as a great, albeit tragic, American hero.

Hoover, building a world reputation as a humanitarian for his successful efforts to prevent starvation in Europe in the wake of World War I, and his remarkable leadership of the business community as Secretary of Commerce (1921-28), was the major political leader of the Progressive Era in the 1920s. His name was a byword for devotion to duty, efficiency, and humanitarian public service. His reputation fell when he was unable to reverse the Great Depression, and he became the object of attacks by Democrats for the next four decades. He was a hero to most conservatives, including senators Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater.

Hoover turned the 1929 stock market crash into an international economic disaster.

Early Life

Family background

Hoover came from an old Swiss family named Huber. He was born in the Quaker stronghold of West Branch, Iowa. He was the first President to be born west of the Mississippi River. Both of his parents died when Hoover was young. His father, Jesse Hoover died in 1880, and his mother, Hulda Minthorn, died in 1883. He was raised as a Quaker and remained faithful all his life.

In 1885, when “Bert” Hoover was 11, he was sent to the small town of Newberg, Oregon to be cared for by his uncle John Minthorn. Minthorn was a doctor and real estate developer whom Hoover recalled as “a severe man on the surface, but like all Quakers kindly at the bottom.”

At a young age, Hoover was self-reliant and ambitious. “My boyhood ambition was to be able to earn my own living, without the help of anybody, anywhere,” he once said. As an office boy in his uncle's Oregon Land Company he excelled in bookkeeping and typing, while also attending business school in the evening. Thanks to a local schoolteacher, Miss Jane Gray, the young Hoover was introduced to the novels of Charles Dickens and Sir Walter Scott. David Copperfield, the story of another orphan cast into the world, was Hoover's lifelong favorite.


In 1891, Hoover entered the new Stanford University in California. Hoover managed the baseball and football teams, started a laundry, and ran a lecture agency. With the support of other students from less wealthy backgrounds against campus “swells,” he was elected student body treasurer on the “Barbarian” slate. It was the only election he ran in until he ran for president.

Hoover majored in geology, studying with Professor John Casper Branner, who helped him get summer jobs mapping terrain in Arkansas and Colorado. Hoover met Lou Henry Hoover, a banker's daughter from Waterloo, Iowa. They shared a love of geology and the environment, and were both remarkably strong willed. Lou said, “It isn't so important what others think of you as what you feel inside yourself”. She became a Quaker when they married in 1899; they had two sons.

Mining engineer

After graduating in 1895 Hoover worked as a clerk with a San Francisco consulting firm of Louis Janin. He joined the British mining firm, Bewick, Moering & Co. which sent him to the new mines in far western Australia.

Hoover arrived in Albany, Western Australia, in May 1897, and designed mining operations, ordering equipment, and examining new prospects. Hoover often traveled to outlying mines by camel, which he called “even a less successful creation than a horse.” After inspecting “Sons of Gwalia” mine he recommended the company buy it; it proved to be one of the richest gold mines in the world.

In 1899 Bewick, Moering sent Hoover to supervise coal mines in China. Hoover went to China with his new bride in 1899; she soon learned Chinese. In 1900, the Hoovers, along with hundreds of foreign families, were trapped by the Boxer Rebellion. Hoover helped organize defensive barricades and organize food supplies, and Lou helped out at the hospital.

Between 1907 and 1912, Hoover and his wife translated of one of the earliest printed technical treatises: Georg Agricola's De re metallica, originally published in 1556. At 670 pages, with 289 woodcuts, the Hoover translation remains the definitive English language translation of Agricola's Latin work.


Bored with making money, the Quaker side of Hoover yearned to be of service to others. When World War I started in August 1914, he helped organize the return home of 120,000 American tourists and businessmen from Europe. Hoover led five hundred volunteers to distribute food, clothing, steamship tickets and cash. “I did not realize it at the moment, but on August 3, 1914 my engineering career was over forever. I was on the slippery road of public life.”

Belgium faced a food crisis after being invaded by Germany in fall 1914. Hoover undertook an unprecedented relief effort as head of the Commission for the Relief of Belgium (CRB). The CRB became, in effect, an independent republic of relief, with its own flag, navy, factories, mills and railroads. Its $12-million-a-month budget was supplied by voluntary donations and government grants. In an early form of shuttle diplomacy, he crossed the North Sea forty times seeking to persuade the enemies in Berlin to allow food to reach the war's victims. Long before the Armistice of November, 1918, he was an international hero. The Belgian city of Leuven named a prominent square after him.

After the United States entered the war in April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Hoover head of the American Food Administration, with headquarters in Washington. It became a major federal emergency agency, standing far above the others in terms of efficiency and success. Hoover cut American consumption of food needed overseas and avoided rationing at home.

After war ended in late 1918, Hoover, a member of the Supreme Economic Council and head of the American Relief Administration, organized shipments of food for millions of starving people in Central Europe. To this end, he employed a newly formed Quaker organization, the American Friends Service Committee to carry out much of the logistical work in Europe. He extended aid to famine-stricken Communist Russia in 1921. When a critic inquired if he was not thus helping Bolshevism, Hoover retorted, “Twenty million people are starving. Whatever their politics, they shall be fed!”

Hoover Library at Stanford

During this time, Hoover realized that he was in a unique position to collect information about the Great War and its aftermath. He worked with Stanford to support his Hoover War Collection and donated to it the extensive files of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, the U.S. Food Administration, and the American Relief Administration. Scholars were sent to Europe to collect pamphlets, society publications, government documents, newspapers, posters, proclamations, and other ephemeral materials related to the war and the revolutions and political movements that had followed it. The collection was later renamed the Hoover War Library, and the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace.

Commerce Secretary

By 1920 both parties considered Hoover for president. He announced he was a Republican and following the convention supported Warren Harding. Harding appointed him as Secretary of Commerce, until then a minor job. Hoover, already one of the most famous people in the world (and far more famous than harding or Coolidge) transformed it the most visible, imaginative and path-breaking agency of government.<ref> After Hoover left Commerce relapsed into obscurity again.</ref>

As secretary (and later as President), Hoover revolutionized the relations between business and government. Rejecting the adversarial anti-business stance of Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson, he sought to make the Commerce Department a powerful service organization, empowered to forge cooperative voluntary partnerships between government and business. This philosophy is often called “associationalism.”

Many of Hoover's efforts as Commerce Secretary centered on the elimination of waste and the increase of efficiency in business and industry. It was the climax of the Efficiency Movement–always a centerpiece of the Progressive Era and now its central feature. Efficiency meant reducing labor losses from trade disputes and seasonal fluctuations, reducing industrial losses from accident and injury, and reducing the amount of crude oil spilled during extraction and shipping. One major achievement was to promote progressive ideals in the areas of standardization products and designs. He energetically promoted international trade by opening offices overseas that gave advice and practical help to businessmen. He was especially eager to promote Hollywood films overseas. <ref>David M. Hart, “Herbert Hoover's Last Laugh: the Enduring Significance of the 'Associative State' in the United States.” Journal of Policy History 1998</ref>

Hoover's “Own Your Own Home” campaign was a collaboration with organizations working to promote ownership of single-family dwellings, including the Better Houses in America movement, the Architects' Small House Service Bureau, and the Home Modernizing Bureau. He worked with bankers and the savings and loan industry to promote the new long term home mortgage, which dramatically stimulated home construction. <ref>Janet Hutchison, “Building for Babbitt: the State and the Suburban Home Ideal” Journal of Policy History 1997</ref>

Among Hoover's other successes were the radio conferences, which played a key role in the early organization, development and regulation of radio broadcasting. Hoover played a key role in major projects for navigation, irrigation of dry lands, electrical power, and flood control.

As the new air transport industry developed, Hoover held a conference on aviation to promote codes and regulations.

He became president of the American Child Health Organization, and he raised private funds to promote health education in schools and communities.

In the spring of 1927, the Great Mississippi Flood broke the banks and levees and flooded millions of acres on which people lived. The governors of six states called for Hoover in the emergency, so President Coolidge sent Hoover to mobilize state and local authorities, militia, army engineers, Coast Guard, and the American Red Cross. Hoover set up health units, with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, to work in the flooded regions for a year. These workers stamped out malaria, pellagra and typhoid fever from many areas. His work during the flood brought Herbert Hoover to the front page of newspapers almost everywhere.

Election to Presidency

Coolidge stunned the nation with 12 words announcing he did not choose to run again in 1928. Hoover was the obvious choice of the party and easily won nomination, against the popular governor of New York, Al Smith. Smith was a Catholic, which alarmed fundamentalist Baptist in the South and Lutherans in the Midwest. Smith was honest but was the product of the notoriously corrupt Tammany Hall machine. Smith wanted to repeal prohibition and allow saloons to reopen; Hoover, calling prohibition an “experiment” (“a noble experiment”) opposed repeal.

Hoover’s reputation, experience, and popularity together, along with the GOP record of peace and prosperity, made him the overwhelming favorite, especially since the Democrats were deeply split north and south over prohibition. Hoover avoided the religious issue. (Quakers were themselves sometimes under attack as pacifists.) Historians agree that Hoover's reputation nationwide and the economic boom, combined with the deep chasm among the Democrats over religion and prohibition, led to his landslide victory.

On the issue of poverty Hoover optimistically promised, “We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land.”

Hoover won by a smashing landslide, carrying the more urban middle class areas of the South and nearly the entire North, apart from Catholic strongholds like New York City and Boston.

Presidency: Great Depression

Hoover later came under sustained and intense attack that he did nothing to reverse the depression. He tried any number of approached–but none worked and the economy continued to spiral downward. His basic assumption, from 1929 to 1931, was that it was a temporary short cycle, and like all previous downturns would end shortly. Meanwhile his job was to maintain public optimism, because pessimism would make people cut back further and prolong the downturn. Hoover was using the best available economic knowledge.

Expanding public works

Hoover in late 1930 created The President's Emergency Committee on Employment (PECE), as unemployment reached 11%.<ref> Estimates of unemployment were only roughly approximate before 1933.</ref> PECE tried to mobilize private charity and encouraged states, cities and Congress to increase public works spending as a stimulus. They did so, and soon the states and cities were nearly bankrupt on their own. In August 1931, finally realizing this was not a normal cycle, Hoover replaced PECE with the President's Organization on Unemployment Relief (POUR), headed by Walter S. Gifford, president of American Telephone and Telegraph, the nation's largest private company. POUR expanded, coordinated, and improved local and state relief efforts; but the economy relentlessly went lower.

In early 1931 Hoover signed the Wagner-Graham Stabilization Act, which set up the Federal Stabilization Board to initiate public works such as dams and highways. Public works did increase throughout the decade after 1929, but not enough to cover the downturn in private construction, let alone all the other negative sectors. In 1931 the mood in Congress –equally divided after the GOP lost seats in 1930–remained strongly opposed to federal relief; even the National Council of Social Workers refused to endorse relief as a principle at their convention in May. New urban slums–shantytowns derisively called Hoovervilles by the Democrats–were rising in the nation's largest cities.


Hoover had played a major role in creating the long-term (20-year) mortgage in the 1920s. In times of prosperity mortgages accelerated national growth, as houses were built and lived in before people had saved enough to pay cash for one. But in a downturn mortgages debt hurt the economy. people sacrificed current consumption to pay the mortgage so they would not lose the house and all the money they put in it. To pay the mortgage they gave up luxuries (like a telephone or new car), made do with old clothes, canceled vacations. The foreclosure rate pushed up and construction of new houses ceased. It was much like 2008-09. Like President Obama, Hoover moved to resolve the mortgage crisis. He called for the Federal Home Loan Bank Act (passed in July 1932), that created a system of federal home loan banks to discount home mortgages. The Federal Home Loan Banks received $125 million in capital (comparable to $32 billion in 2009) to fund the home mortgages held by financial concerns.<ref> The “comparable” figures here are calculating by taking the same % of the GDP in 2009 as the sum was a % of GDP in 1930, 1931 or 1932. This can be found by using these multipliers: to compare spending in 1929 versus 2009, multiply by 146; use 167 in 1930; 197 in 1931; 259 in 1932, and 268 in 1933.</ref> Hoover believed that the ability of private lending institutions to secure new sources of capital would encourage them to make more construction loans and revive the industry. But it had little effect.


The most successful Hoover program–one that continued under FDR–was the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, proposed by Hoover and created by Congress in early 1932. The collapse in the value of assets combined with demands from panicky depositors to get their money out meant that many banks that were otherwise solvent, hoarded their money and refused to make loans. It was much like the Financial Crisis of 2008. The RFC could make loans to banks, insurance companies and railroads. The Emergency Relief and Construction Act of July 21, 1932, enlarged its power to allow for loans to state government and to farm agencies. The immediate aim was to restore confidence in financial institutions generally and encourage them to start lending again, prevent ruinous bankruptcies that would further destabilize the shaky economy, and–hopefully– revive the economy through the restoration of credit. The RFC was capitalized at $500 million (comparable in size to $130 billion in 2009), provided by the federal government, and it was empowered to sell $3.3 billion (comparable to $850 billion in 2009) of debentures. Through the end of the Hoover administration $2.2 billion was actually loaned to authorized borrowers (comparable to $590 billion). The RFC saved many railroads, banks, and insurance companies. Democrats limited its effectiveness by overly stringent security requirements for loans and by the decision of Congress to require public disclosure of borrowers, which virtually forced a bank to admit publicly it was in trouble.

Presidency: Other actions


Hoover was a reformer who expanded civil service, canceled private oil leases on government lands, and prosecuted notorious criminals, most notably Al Capone. He negotiated a treaty with Canada on the St. Lawrence Seaway; it in the Senate. He wrote a Children's Charter that advocated protection of every child regardless of race or gender, built the San Francisco Bay Bridge, created an antitrust division in the Justice Department, required air mail carriers to improve service, and proposed federal loans for clearance of urban slums.

Hoover organized the Federal Bureau of Prisons, reorganized the Bureau of Indian Affairs, proposed a federal Department of Education, advocated fifty-dollar-per-month pensions for Americans over 65, chaired White House conferences on child health, protection, homebuilding and homeownership, and signed the Norris-La Guardia Act that limited judicial intervention in labor disputes.


Hoover's Quaker upbringing influenced his views that Native Americans needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency. He chose Senator Charles Curtis, an Indian–as his Vice President. (Curtis was the first and last Indian to hold high national office, but he was a figurehead, not a policy maker.) Hoover appointed Charles J. Rhoads as commissioner of Indian affairs. He supported Rhoads' efforts to achieve Indian assimilation and sought to reduce the federal role in Indian affairs to the minimum. He wanted to have Indians acting as individuals instead of as tribes, and assuming the responsibilities of citizenship which had been granted pursuant to Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.<ref>Thomas A. Britten, “Hoover and the Indians: the Case for Continuity in Federal Indian Policy, 1900-1933” Historian 1999 61(3): 518-538. Issn: 0018-2370 </ref>

Foreign Policy

Regarding to foreign policy, Hoover originated what Roosevelt later called the “Good Neighbor Policy” by withdrawing American troops from Nicaragua and Haiti. He proposed an arms embargo on Latin America and a one-third reduction in the world's naval, which was called the Hoover Plan. The Roosevelt Corollary was dropped as a part of U.S. foreign policy. He and his powerful Secretary of State Henry Stimson formulated the Stimson Doctrine that said the United States would not recognize territories gained by force. This meant the U.S. refused to recognize Japan's seizure of Manchuria.

Hoover's popularity takes a hit

Many people lost their jobs during the Great Depression and were forced to move into “shantytowns” that became known as “Hoovervilles”, a mocking tribute to the President whom they blamed for their financial woes. <ref></ref> (This link contains pictures of several “Hoovervilles”.) Hoover's popularity took a further hit when a group of veterans from World War I known as the Bonus Army marched on Washington, D.C. to demand their cash bonuses that they were to receive in 1945 for their military service. <ref></ref> Hoover deployed the Army to drive out these marchers, of whom there were up to 10,000, which was a further public relations nightmare. Hoover lost the United States presidential election of 1932 election by a landslide to Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, winning only 59 electoral votes. <ref></ref>


The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is located in West Branch, Iowa. <ref></ref>

Hoover's wife, Lou Henry Hoover, served as the president of the Girl Scouts. <ref></ref>

Hoover was against the U. S.'s entry into World War II. In a radio address to the nation from Chicago on September 16, 1941, he said, “…And what happens to the millions of enslaved people of Russia and to all Europe and to our own freedoms if we shall send our sons to win this war for Communism?” Ref: Freedom Betrayed, Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, California, by Herbert Hoover, page 259, published 2011.


Basic readings

  • Best, Gary Dean. The Politics of American Individualism: Herbert Hoover in Transition, 1918-1921 (1975) online edition, by a conservative scholar
  • Bornet, Vaughn Davis, An Uncommon President. In: Herbert Hoover Reassessed. (1981), pp. 71-88, by conservative scholar
  • Burner, David. Herbert Hoover: A Public Life. (1979). good one-volume biography by a liberal historian
  • Fausold, Martin L. The Presidency of Herbert C. Hoover. (1985) standard scholarly overview.
  • Fausold Martin L. and George Mazuzan, eds. The Hoover Presidency: A Reappraisal (1974).
  • Hawley, Ellis. Herbert Hoover as Secretary of Commerce: Studies in New Era Thought and Practice (1981). A major reinterpretation.
  • Hawley, Ellis. “Herbert Hoover, the Commerce Secretariat, and the Vision of an 'Associative State,' 1921-1928.” Journal of American History 61 (1974): 116-140. in JSTOR
  • Hoff-Wilson, Joan. Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive. (1975). short favorable biography
  • Kennedy, David M. Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (1999), the major scholarly synthesis online edition
  • Nash, George H. The Life of Herbert Hoover: The Engineer 1874-1914 (1983), the definitive scholarly biography, by a leading conservative scholar
    • Nash, George H. Life of Herbert Hoover: The Humanitarian, 1914-1917 (1988), vol. 2. excerpt and text search
    • Nash, George H. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Master of Emergencies, 1917-1918 (1996), vol. 3
  • Pietrusza, David 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents New York: Carroll & Graf, 2007
  • Robinson, Edgar Eugene and Vaughn Davis Bornet. Herbert Hoover: President of the United States. (1976), conservative views
  • Romasco, Albert U. The Poverty of Abundance: Hoover, the Nation, the Depression (1965).
  • Smith, Richard Norton. An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, (1987), major biography, especially useful for 1933-64.
  • Wilbur, Ray Lyman, and Arthur Mastick Hyde. The Hoover Policies. (1937). In depth description of his administration by two cabinet members.

Major studies

  • Barber, William J. From New Era to New Deal: Herbert Hoover, the Economists, and American Economic Policy, 1921-1933. (1985). excerpt and text search
  • Barry, John M. Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America (1998), Hoover played a major role.
  • Best, Gary Dean. The Politics of American Individualism: Herbert Hoover in Transition, 1918-1921 (1975) online edition
  • Bornet, Vaughn Davis, An Uncommon President. In: Herbert Hoover Reassessed. (1981), pp. 71-88.
  • Britten, Thomas A. “Hoover and the Indians: the Case for Continuity in Federal Indian Policy, 1900-1933” Historian 1999 61(3): 518-538. Issn: 0018-2370
  • Burner, David. Herbert Hoover: A Public Life. (1979). good one-volume biography.
  • Calder, James D. The Origins and Development of Federal Crime Control Policy: Herbert Hoover's Initiatives Praeger, 1993.
  • Carcasson, Martin. “Herbert Hoover and the Presidential Campaign of 1932: the Failure of Apologia” Presidential Studies Quarterly 1998 28(2): 349-365. online edition
  • Clements, Kendrick A. Hoover, Conservation, and Consumerism: Engineering the Good Life. U. Press of Kansas, 2000.
  • Darling, Jay N. As Ding Saw Herbert Hoover (1996) editorial cartoons by Darling (mostly pro-Hoover) excerpt and text search
  • DeConde, Alexander. Herbert Hoover's Latin American Policy. (1951).
  • Dodge, Mark M., ed. Herbert Hoover and the Historians. (1989).
  • Doenecke, Justus D. “Anti-Interventionism of Herbert Hoover” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Summer 1987, 8(2), pp. 311-340. online version
  • Fausold, Martin L. The Presidency of Herbert C. Hoover. (1985) standard scholarly overview.
  • Fausold Martin L. and George Mazuzan, eds. The Hoover Presidency: A Reappraisal (1974).
  • Ferrell, Robert H. American Diplomacy in the Great Depression: Hoover-Stimson Foreign Policy, 1929-1933. (1957).
  • Freidel, Frank. “Election of 1932,” in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-1968, ed. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. and Fred L. Israel (1971), vol. 3
  • Gaddis, Vincent. Herbert Hoover, Unemployment, and the Public Sphere: A Conceptual History, 1919–1933. (University Press of America, 2005. xxx, 180 pp. isbn 0-7618-3235-1.)
  • Gelfand, Lawrence E. ed., Herbert Hoover: The Great War and Its Aftermath, 1914-1923 (1979).
  • Goodman, Mark and Gring, Mark. “The Ideological Fight over Creation of the Federal Radio Commission in 1927” Journalism History 2000 26(3): 117-124.
  • Hamilton, David E. From New Day to New Deal: American Farm Policy from Hoover to Roosevelt, 1928-1933. (1991).
  • Hart, David M. “Herbert Hoover's Last Laugh: the Enduring Significance of the 'Associative State' in the United States.” Journal of Policy History 1998 10(4): 419-444.
  • Hatfield, Mark. ed. Herbert Hoover Reassessed (2002).
  • Hawley, Ellis. Herbert Hoover as Secretary of Commerce: Studies in New Era Thought and Practice (1981). A major reinterpretation by leading conservative historian
  • Hawley, Ellis. Herbert Hoover and the Historians (1989).
  • Hawley, Ellis. “Herbert Hoover, the Commerce Secretariat, and the Vision of an 'Associative State,' 1921-1928.” Journal of American History 61 (1974): 116-140.
  • Hawley, Ellis. “Herbert Hoover and Modern American History: Fifty Years Later,” in Herbert Hoover Reassessed,
  • Hoff-Wilson, Joan. Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive. (1975). short biography
  • Houck, Davis W. “Rhetoric as Currency: Herbert Hoover and the 1929 Stock Market Crash” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 2000 3(2): 155-181. Issn: 1094-8392
  • Hutchison, Janet. “Building for Babbitt: the State and the Suburban Home Ideal” Journal of Policy History 1997 9(2): 184-210
  • Lee, David D. “Herbert Hoover and the Development of Commercial Aviation, 1921-1926,” Business History Review, Vol. 58, No. 1, Transportation (Spring, 1984), pp. 78-102 in JSTOR
  • Lichtman, Allan J. Prejudice and the Old Politics: The Presidential Election of 1928 (1979), statistical analysis of voting patterns
  • Liebovich, Louis W. Bylines in Despair: Herbert Hoover, the Great Depression, and the U.S. News Media (1994) excerpt and text search
  • Lisio, Donald J. The President and Protest: Hoover, MacArthur, and the Bonus Riot, 2d ed. (1994).
  • Lisio, Donald J. Hoover, Blacks, and Lily-whites: A Study of Southern Strategies (1985)
  • Lloyd, Craig. Aggressive Introvert: A Study of Herbert Hoover and Public Relations Management, 1912-1932 (1973).
  • Nash, George H. The Life of Herbert Hoover: The Engineer 1874-1914 (1983), the definitive scholarly biography.
  • Nash, George H. Life of Herbert Hoover: The Humanitarian, 1914-1917 (1988), vol. 2. excerpt and text search
  • Nash, George H. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Master of Emergencies, 1917-1918 (1996), vol. 3
  • Nash, Lee, ed. Understanding Herbert Hoover: Ten Perspectives (1987)
  • Olson, James S. Herbert Hoover and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, 1931-1933 (1977).
  • Ortiz, Stephen R. “Rethinking the Bonus March: Federal Bonus Policy, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Origins of a Protest Movement,” Journal of Policy History, 18 (no. 3, 2006), 275–303.
  • Peel, Roy V., and Thomas C. Donnelly. The 1932 Campaign: An Analysis (1935)
  • Robinson, Edgar Eugene and Vaughn Davis Bornet. Herbert Hoover: President of the United States. (1976).
  • Romasco, Albert U. The Poverty of Abundance: Hoover, the Nation, the Depression (1965).
  • Schwarz, Jordan A. The Interregnum of Despair: Hoover, Congress, and the Depression. (1970). Hostile to Hoover.
  • Short, Brant. “The Rhetoric of the Post-Presidency: Herbert Hoover's Campaign against the New Deal, 1934-1936,” Presidential Studies Quarterly 21, no. 1 (1991): 33-50.
  • Smith, Richard Norton. An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, (1987) covers 1933-64.
  • Sobel, Robert. Herbert Hoover and the Onset of the Great Depression 1929-1930 (1975).
  • Spragens, William, and Linda J. Lear, “Herbert Hoover,” in Popular Images of American Presidents, ed. William Spragens (1988)
  • Tracey, Kathleen. Herbert Hoover–A Bibliography. His Writings and Addresses (1977).
  • Walch, Timothy. ed. Uncommon Americans: The Lives and Legacies of Herbert and Lou Henri Hoover Praeger, 2003.
  • Weissman, Benjamin M. Herbert Hoover and Famine Relief to Soviet Russia: 1921-1923 (1974)
  • Wilbur, Ray Lyman, and Arthur Mastick Hyde. The Hoover Policies. (1937). In depth description of his administration by two cabinet members.
  • Wueschner, Silvano A. Charting Twentieth-Century Monetary Policy: Herbert Hoover and Benjamin Strong, 1917-1927. Greenwood, 1999. edition
  • Zalewski, David A. “A Reconsideration of the Revenue Act of 1932,” Essays in Economic and Business History, 24 (2006), 56–68.

Primary sources

  • Myers, William Starr and Walter H. Newton, eds. The Hoover Administration; a documented narrative. 1936.
  • Hawley, Ellis, ed. Herbert Hoover: Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President, 4 vols. (1974-1977)
  • Hoover, Herbert Clark and Lou Henry Hoover, trans., De Re Metallica, by Agricola, G., The Mining magazine, London, 1912
  • Hoover, Herbert C. The Challenge to Liberty, 1934
  • Hoover, Herbert C. Addresses Upon The American Road, 1933-1938, 1938
  • Hoover, Herbert C. Addresses Upon The American Road, 1940-41, (1941) online edition
  • Hoover, Herbert C. The Problems of Lasting Peace, with Hugh Gibson, 1942
  • Hoover, Herbert C. Addresses Upon The American Road, 1945-48, (1949) online edition
  • Hoover, Herbert C. The Hoover Commission Report on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government (1949) online edition
  • Hoover, Herbert C. 40 Key Questions about Our Foreign Policy: Answered in Important Addresses and Statements Delivered between 1941 and 1952 (1952) online edition
  • Hoover, Herbert C. Memoirs. New York, 1951–52. 3 vol; v. 1. Years of adventure, 1874–1920; v. 2. The Cabinet and the Presidency, 1920–1933; v. 3. The Great Depression, 1929–1941. vol 2 online edition
  • Hoover, Herbert C. Freedom Betrayed, 2011
  • Dwight M. Miller and Timothy Walch, eds; Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Documentary History. Greenwood Press. 1998. online edition



Progressive Era

Presidents of the United States Great Depression Republicans New Deal 1920s Conservatives Quakers

Snippet from Wikipedia: Herbert Hoover

Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) was an American engineer, businessman, and politician who served as the 31st president of the United States from 1929 to 1933. A member of the Republican Party, he held office during the onset of the Great Depression. Prior to serving as president, Hoover led the Commission for Relief in Belgium, served as the director of the U.S. Food Administration, and served as the 3rd U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Hoover was born to a Quaker family in West Branch, Iowa. He took a position with a London-based mining company after graduating from Stanford University in 1895. After the outbreak of World War I, he became the head of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, an international relief organization that provided food to occupied Belgium. When the U.S. entered the war, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Hoover to lead the Food Administration, and Hoover became known as the country's "food czar". After the war, Hoover led the American Relief Administration, which provided food to the inhabitants of Central Europe and Eastern Europe. Hoover's war-time service made him a favorite of many progressives, and he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in the 1920 presidential election.

After the 1920 election, newly-elected Republican President Warren G. Harding appointed Hoover as Secretary of Commerce; Hoover continued to serve under President Calvin Coolidge after Harding died in 1923. Hoover was an unusually active and visible cabinet member, becoming known as "Secretary of Commerce and Under-Secretary of all other departments". He was influential in the development of radio and air travel and led the federal response to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Hoover won the Republican nomination in the 1928 presidential election, and decisively defeated the Democratic candidate, Al Smith. The stock market crashed shortly after Hoover took office, and the Great Depression became the central issue of his presidency. Hoover pursued a variety of policies in an attempt to lift the economy, but opposed directly involving the federal government in relief efforts.

In the midst of an ongoing economic crisis, Hoover was decisively defeated by Democratic nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential election. After leaving office, Hoover enjoyed one of the longest retirements of any former president, and he authored numerous works in subsequent decades. Hoover became increasingly conservative in this time, and he strongly criticized Roosevelt's foreign policy and New Deal domestic agenda. In the 1940s and 1950s, Hoover's public reputation was slightly rehabilitated after serving in various assignments for Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, including as chairman of the Hoover Commission. Nevertheless, Hoover is still widely regarded as a below-average U.S. president, and most polls of historians and political scientists rank him in the bottom third overall.

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