Hoover, so often vilified and ranked as one of the worst presidents, just begs for a good biography. You just know there’s more to the story than we have heard. Charles Rappleye gives us a biography of Hoover’s turbulent presidency and only enough of his life before and after to contrast it with his one term in office. He went into office with tremendous respect and admiration and left it with little love lost.
Rappleye did not write as a fan of his subject, but with keen research he did strive to present a balanced picture. Besides, perhaps, going too far in some of his psychological analysis of Hoover, Rappleye brought Hoover to life in this book.
Hoover was a hard worker, had a peculiar personality that was really not a good match for the presidency, and was somewhat petty. At the same time, he had core principles, determination, and great brains. He was also a most unfortunate victim. The Depression was in no way caused by him and was ready to explode before he even took office. There were international factors out of his control too. Really, everything lined up against him and likely no politican could have stopped it. His popular successor was much better at calming the people, but did not stop the Depression either throughout the 1930s.
I left this biography feeling sorry for Hoover and thinking that many of the things he stood for would have been better than what transpired after him. He just lacked a real connection with the American people.
This well-written biography fills in many of the questions you may have. It is a solid contribution.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.