Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times

By Kenneth Whyte
Read by Richard Ferrone

27.64 Hours 10/10/2017 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9780525500339

"An exemplary biography—exhaustively researched, fair-minded and easy to read. It can nestle on the same shelf as David McCullough’s Truman, a high compliment indeed." —The Wall Street Journal The definitive biography of Herbert Hoover, one of the most remarkable Americans of the twentieth century—a wholly original account that will forever change the way Americans understand the man, his presidency, his battle against the Great Depression, and their own history. An impoverished orphan who built a fortune. A great humanitarian. A president elected in a landslide and then resoundingly defeated four years later. Arguably the father of both New Deal liberalism and modern conservatism, Herbert Hoover lived one of the most extraordinary American lives of the twentieth century. Yet however astonishing, his accomplishments are often eclipsed by the perception that Hoover was inept and heartless in the face of the Great Depression. Now, Kenneth Whyte vividly recreates Hoover’s rich and dramatic life in all its complex glory. He follows Hoover through his Iowa boyhood, his cutthroat business career, his brilliant rescue of millions of lives during World War I and the 1927 Mississippi floods, his misconstrued presidency, his defeat at the hands of a ruthless Franklin Roosevelt, his devastating years in the political wilderness, his return to grace as Truman's emissary to help European refugees after World War II, and his final vindication in the days of Kennedy's "New Frontier." Ultimately, Whyte brings to light Hoover’s complexities and contradictions—his modesty and ambition, his ruthlessness and extreme generosity—as well as his profound political legacy. Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times is the epic, poignant story of the deprived boy who, through force of will, made himself the most accomplished figure in the land, and who experienced a range of achievements and failures unmatched by any American of his, or perhaps any, era. Here, for the first time, is the definitive biography that fully captures the colossal scale of Hoover’s momentous life and volatile times.

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Summary

Summary

"An exemplary biography—exhaustively researched, fair-minded and easy to read. It can nestle on the same shelf as David McCullough’s Truman, a high compliment indeed." —The Wall Street Journal

The definitive biography of Herbert Hoover, one of the most remarkable Americans of the twentieth century—a wholly original account that will forever change the way Americans understand the man, his presidency, his battle against the Great Depression, and their own history.

An impoverished orphan who built a fortune. A great humanitarian. A president elected in a landslide and then resoundingly defeated four years later. Arguably the father of both New Deal liberalism and modern conservatism, Herbert Hoover lived one of the most extraordinary American lives of the twentieth century. Yet however astonishing, his accomplishments are often eclipsed by the perception that Hoover was inept and heartless in the face of the Great Depression.

Now, Kenneth Whyte vividly recreates Hoover’s rich and dramatic life in all its complex glory. He follows Hoover through his Iowa boyhood, his cutthroat business career, his brilliant rescue of millions of lives during World War I and the 1927 Mississippi floods, his misconstrued presidency, his defeat at the hands of a ruthless Franklin Roosevelt, his devastating years in the political wilderness, his return to grace as Truman's emissary to help European refugees after World War II, and his final vindication in the days of Kennedy's "New Frontier." Ultimately, Whyte brings to light Hoover’s complexities and contradictions—his modesty and ambition, his ruthlessness and extreme generosity—as well as his profound political legacy.

Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times
is the epic, poignant story of the deprived boy who, through force of will, made himself the most accomplished figure in the land, and who experienced a range of achievements and failures unmatched by any American of his, or perhaps any, era. Here, for the first time, is the definitive biography that fully captures the colossal scale of Hoover’s momentous life and volatile times.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A thoughtful resurrection of a brilliant man who, aside from the Founding Fathers, did more good before taking office than any other president in American history.” Kirkus (starred review)
“Hoover was doomed to be remembered as the man who was too rigidly conservative to react adeptly to the Depression, as the hapless foil to the great Franklin Roosevelt, and as the politician who managed to turn a Republican country into a Democratic one…Helpfully lays out a long and copious resume that doesn’t fit on this stamp of dismissal.” New Yorker
“A clear-eyed, sympathetic portrayal of the American president best remembered for his inability to pull the US out of the Great Depression…With adept explanations of the Depression’s complexities and a refreshing sense of objectivity regarding Hoover’s approach to combating it, Whyte portrays a figure to be neither pitied nor reviled, but better understood.” Publishers Weekly
“Often ranked as one of our worst presidents—his very name evokes Depression-era shantytowns—Hoover gets a reconsideration here that sweeps over his entire career… [Whyte] charts Hoover’s rise from childhood poverty to business mega-success, then reminds us of Hoover’s large-scale humanitarian works during World War I and after the 1927 Mississippi floods and his efforts (however thankless) to combat the Great Depression. And he was tasked by President Harry Truman himself with aiding European refugees after World War II, which not everyone knows. Get reading.” Library Journal
“Summons us to see Hoover as a human personality, more than just a walking embodiment of Great Depression studies…In the unceasing ideological quarrying of the American past, this great man and execrated president has proven himself useful again. To understand Hoover’s life, career, and his legacy in full, this rich new biography will certainly prove indispensable.” Atlantic

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Kenneth Whyte

Kenneth Whyte is the author of The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst, a Washington Post and Toronto Globe and Mail Book of the Year, and a nominee for four major Canadian book awards. He is a publishing and telecommunications executive and chairman of the Donner Canada Foundation. He was formerly editor in chief of Maclean’s magazine, editor of the monthly Saturday Night magazine, and founding editor of the National Post. He lives in Toronto.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 27.64
Audience: Adult
Language: English