The Presidency of Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover

A Look at the Presidency of Herbert Hoover

The purpose of this essay is to analyze the presidency of Herbert Hoover using various political models and to determine whether his ranking in presidential history is fair or not. President Herbert Hoover was elected by one of the largest margins in American history in 1928 and lost reelection to Franklin Roosevelt by one of the largest margins for a sitting president in American history in 1932. “The transformation of the national government from Hoover's brand of ‘rugged individualism; to Roosevelt's ‘New Deal’ changed American politics forever.”[i] This paper will look at his presidency to determine what exactly happened over his four years in office to change the minds of the people who first elected him. One of the first names that come to the mind of the average person when asked who the worst president was is Herbert Hoover, whether this assumption is true or not will be looked at.

Since President Hoover left the White House in 1933, historians have examined and studied his presidency extensively and compared it to those before and after him. Historians have scored Hoover at 34 out of 41. This translates into him being the 7th worst president that the United States has had to date. The criteria that were followed looked at how a president functioned in key areas that encompass his presidency. The following are the areas that were focused on and Hoover’s score out of 41: public persuasion (37), crisis leadership (39), economic management (41), moral authority (24), international relations (25), administrative skills (11), relations with Congress (34), setting an agenda (37), pursued equal justice (31), and performance over time (36). Hoover’s average score was a 34, which places him at the bottom with our worst presidents. His best score, which was above average, was his administrative skills. Hoover was a classic administrator and this probably saved him from being even lower in the ranking. He has average levels of moral authority and international relations, which does not make him a bad president. What historians point to is his poor skills at persuading the public, managing a crisis, managing the economy, maintaining relations with Congress, having a vision for the country, fighting for equal justice, and how history looks back on him. Hoover’s numbers in these areas were absolutely horrendous. The question is: is this a fair assessment of his presidency?[ii]

Looking back on the research and analyzing the ranking system, I agree with some of the results, but not all of them. Hoover was not a bad person, but lacked some serious qualities to being the President of the United States and just happened to be in office during this tragic period. He is almost universally praised for having impressive administrator skills, which date back to his days as the Food and Relief Coordinator during World War I and as Secretary of Commerce. This fantastic characteristic probably kept his presidency afloat during some trying times. Many people do not know how he fought for equality for both minorities such as African Americans and Native Americans and also for women. When Hoover took office, he had a bold reformist agenda that got sidetracked by the economic depression that hit early in his term. In the few months before the stock market collapsed, Hoover got some important pieces of legislation passed aimed at reforming problem areas, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the

Department of Justice’s criminal focus, and prison reform. He also established the most national park land since Teddy Roosevelt. President Hoover was also a big proponent of civil liberties in an era when many were ignored in the hunt for Communists. The serious lack of the remaining presidential characteristics almost certainly led to his defeat for reelection and dragged out the Great Depression. At the same time, President Hoover’s administrative skills, his fight for equality, and some of his legislative accomplishments were often overlooked by historians and by average people. Overtime, historians have improved their ranking of Hoover and I believe looking at the books and journal articles that he will rise slowly and will not be remembered as one the worst president ever. President Hoover enjoyed a fantastic post presidency that earned him much goodwill after he left office being the most unpopular man in America. His actions during his 31 years after leaving office, such as traveling the world, aiding in humanitarian relief projects, and being a mentor to several new politicians salvaged his legacy and improved his standing from the worst president to now seven places higher. “Hoover's presidency continues to be "reassessed" and the notion that perhaps he was not as apathetic and inept as popularly believed is gaining support.”1 President Hoover’s strengths and his weaknesses are discussed at length in the following approach to how his presidency worked and whether it was effective or not.

The best approach to examining the Hoover presidency is looking at his psychological and biographical information. Herbert Hoover was born on August 10, 1874 in West Branch, Iowa. His parents, Jess and Hulda Hoover, were strict Quakers and owned a blacksmith business. By the time Hoover was 10, both of his parents had died and he was sent to live with an uncle in Oregon. During the next few years, he attended night school and worked as a clerk for his uncle. One of his friends during this time described Hoover as being “a very quiet, introspective nontalkative lad who played a little chess and a little checkers.”[iii] In 1891, he was accepted to StanfordUniversity, which was the year it opened, so Hoover and the rest of the students were allowed to attend for free. Hoover said of his years at Stanford, that “I happened to be the first boy to sleep in the Men’s Dormitory before the university formally opened- so may be said to be its first student.”3 He later graduated in 1895 with a degree in geology. Hoover worked for several mine companies and lived in such faraway places as Australia and China. In 1899, he married his wife, Lou Henry. She also graduated from Stanford with a degree in geology. Until 1914, Hoover worked as a mining consultant on various projects and made a fortune doing this. Right before leaving the mining world, Hoover and his wife translated into English, the Latin mining book from 1556 called De re metallica, which is still in print today.

In 1914, Hoover left the mining world forever and it was by accident. On August 4, 1914 the German army invaded Belgium in its quest to defeat France. Herbert Hoover was in Brussels doing business when travel was suspended and foreign nationals became stuck in a war zone. Hoover said as we was about to leave the country, “the United States Embassy staff, besieged by stranded American travelers, asked him to relieve their ‘acute temporary destitution’.”3 He assembled roughly 500 American businessmen, most his friends, to spearhead an extraordinary effort. They fronted their own money in order to provide food and necessities to stranded Americans and find them a way out of Belgium. All told he helped over 120,000 Americans leave the country with private donations. “Hoover and nine business associates had guaranteed $1.5 million, much of it in personal checks without collateral. Less than $400 went unpaid.”[iv] After the successful effort, Hoover formed the Committee for Relief in Belgium (CRB) of which he was the head. He organized the government of Europe to donate money for the cause and eventually was spending $11 million a month. “Hoover even lured Pope Benedict XV into a public endorsement of the CRB, backed by 10,000 lire and marching orders to the American church hierarchy.”4

On November 7, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson named Hoover as the director of the Food Administration. By this time, the United States had entered World War I and Hoover was asked to head up the effort back home. Hoover’s efforts earned him fame worldwide and “his name was now a household word.”4 He was named by the New York Times as one of “The Ten Most Important Living Americans” and Finland added a word to their language, “hoover” which means “to help”. Even with all of his positive fame, Hoover came under fire by some for sending food to the Soviet Union because of their politics. His response was: “Twenty million people are starving. Whatever their politics, they shall be fed!”3 After the war was over, Hoover rejoiced in returning home and being out of the war zone. WashingtonD.C. was abuzz when he returned throwing lavish parties at which he was the guest of honor. Many charities used Hoover as their highlight to solicit donations. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said “Hoover was the biggest figure injected into Washington by the war.”3

In the election of 1920, Hoover was seen as a possible candidate for either president or vice president by both parties. Hoover, a known Republican, was well liked by many Democrats and encouraged to run by them. “President Wilson told his brother-in-law that he preferred Hoover as his successor.”4 While Hoover was being talked about for office he stated that “I am not a party man, there are forty … issues in the country today in which I am interested and before I can answer whether or not I am a Democrat or a Republican I shall have to know how each party stands on those issues.”4 Eventually it was revealed that Hoover was a Republican and he ran in the California Republican Primary, losing it narrowly and ending his chances for the nomination for President. At the convention, Senator Warren Harding won the most delegates and became the nominee. Hoover was not fully pleased with Harding, but nevertheless supported his ticket for President. After Harding was elected in a landslide, he offered Hoover the post of Secretary of Commerce in his administration. Hoover accepted, but he faced opposition from the strict conservative Republican Congress. Harding also offered well known Republican businessman Andrew Mellon the post of Secretary of the Treasury, which pleased the conservatives, but they still fought Harding on Hoover. Finally, President Harding said “Mellon and Hoover, or no Mellon.”4 Therefore, Hoover took his post to help guide the nation’s economic policy. Hoover, “the strongest figure in the new administration was assigned the most obscure department in government.”4

Hoover served as Secretary of Commerce from 1921-1928 under both President Warren Harding and President Calvin Coolidge. Secretary Hoover became the most visible member of both administrations. He had frequent press conferences and traveled extensively across the country. The biggest problem facing Hoover during his tenure at the Commerce Department was unemployment. Over five million people were unemployed because of the small depression of 1920-1922. “Hoover rejected the conservative formula of reducing wages and prices until supply and demand set the system right again.”3 What Hoover did was propose a large government public works project which would employ many additional people. He also asked business leaders to reduce wage cuts. His plans were called “the ‘President’s Conference on Unemployment of 1921’, the first experiment in American history to respond to hard times with plans for economic stabilization.”3Hoover added subdivisions to the Commerce Department for housing, radios, and aeronautics. He also “added three thousand names to the Commerce payroll, expanded the Census Bureau into and informational treasure trove for business planners, and undertook at Harding’s request a study of national petroleum reserves.”4Hoover headed up a disaster relief commission, following the flooding of the Mississippi RiverValley in 1927. He got food, medicines, and supplies down to the Southern region just by using business contacts and personal charity work. Hoover’s lengthy work as Secretary of Commerce helped him develop his administrative skills that he would ultimately bring to his presidency and use them with great success.

In 1924, President Coolidge considered Hoover as his vice presidential running mate, but thought it best that he remain in the Cabinet for the time being, figuring Hoover would run in the next election. In August of 1928, Hoover resigned as Secretary of Commerce and commenced his quest for the presidency. “Hoover was considered the best candidate to symbolize the tranquility, prosperity, and purity of the times. The Republican's optimism was exemplified by the infamous "a chicken in every pot" campaign slogan.”1 He campaigned strongly for the nomination and won key primaries around the country. At the convention, “Hoover won 837 out of 1089 votes on the first ballot.”3 He chose Senator Charles Curtis of Kansas, the Senate Majority Leader as his running mate, specifically because of his weakness with voters in the Midwest, where Curtis was strong. The Democrats nominated New York Governor Al Smith and Senator Joseph Robinson of Arkansas, the Senate Minority Leader. Smith was the first Roman Catholic to receive a major party nomination and thus his faith played a large role in the race, although Hoover did not make it a central focus of his campaign. “Because of the prosperity of the time and the Republican's firm hold of the country's favor in 1928, Hoover was not required to do much in his…campaign.”1 The Hoover-Curtis ticket won 444 electoral votes and 58% of the popular vote compared to the Smith-Robinson ticket winning 87 electoral votes and 41% of the popular vote. “Hoover cracked the Solid South, taking Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas, and won all of the Border States as well.”3 This was the first time since Reconstruction, that a Republican won those Southern states. President Hoover “seemed ideally suited to manage the smoothly running government machine efficiently”1 so he assembled a top notch Cabinet, with only Secretaries Mellon of Treasury and James Davis of Labor staying from Coolidge’s administration. Hoover kept Mellon because “Mellon was so venerated in the business world that his departure would have signaled problems.”3Hoover assembled a variety of Republicans that ranged from moderate to conservative in order to appease all sides. In addition to his massive electoral victory, Republicans enjoyed large margins in both the Senate and House of Representatives, mainly due to the economic policies of Presidents Harding and Coolidge. He hoped to use this in order to get his policies passed with little or no trouble.

Once taking the oath of office, President Hoover got off to a good start and the public was with him. “Hoover appeared more realistic than Wilson, more committed to excellence than Harding, more innovative than Coolidge, and more purely American than Al Smith.”4 President’s typically had one personal secretary, but “Herbert Hoover's introduction of a noncareer, professional staff of four”[v] created a new trend that future president’s would later follow. “Now there is a whole machine-gun squad to handle the work"5 remarked a journalist. Hoover put partisan politics aside immediately and tried to do what was best for everyone. He was asked for a favor by several wealthy businessmen and said “when I was Secretary of Commerce I was devoting myself to your interests and now that I have become leader of the nation, I must take the point of view of all people.”4Hoover started off his term with defending civil liberties and making inroads with race relations. “Some of the most important and least known actions of Hoover’s tenure concern civil liberties.”4 He repudiated right-wing tactics to attack alleged Communists and released many that were arrested for no reason other than protesting peacefully. President Hoover met with several leaders of the African American community, specifically Dr. Robert Moton of the Tuskegee Institute. Hoover “raised the number of blacks in federal employment to 54,684 by the end of his term and promoted more than Harding and Coolidge together.”4 He also desired prison reform, specifically by “recommending the proportion of Negros and women in the prison system be taken into account when forming a parole board and by embarking on a $5 billion reform program, designed to fix the fledgling system.

A lasting legacy of Hoover was his appointments of three justices to the Supreme Court of the United States. He appointed former Associate Justice Charles Evans Hughes as Chief Justice in 1930, and Owen Roberts and Benjamin Cardozo as Associate Justices in 1930 and 1932, respectively. They would play a crucial role in helping to derail several of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs further down the road. Hoover told his Attorney General that “I should like very much to appoint a woman to a distinguished position if I could find a distinguished woman to appoint,”4, leading him to be one of the first presidents to look into female appointments. President Hoover played a big role in the reform of Prohibition and the capture of lawbreakers. Hoover “estimated that prohibition should only take up a third of [the Justice Department’s] time,”3 because previously it was taking up to half of the department’s resources. The President “directed Attorney General Mitchell to ‘get’ Al Capone, sparing no expense,”3 because of the lawlessness in Chicago. Hoover took a special interest in American Indians and the policies that affect them. As a child, “Indian children had been his early playmates and two of his uncles had served as Indian agents.”3 Vice President Curtis also promoted reforms because he was part Native American. Hoover wished for Indians to achieve their ultimate goal, which is economic self-sufficiency and to minimize the government’s role involving Native American affairs. President Hoover set aside 5.3 million acres of land for national parks and national forests, continuing in the tradition of one of his heroes, former President Teddy Roosevelt. Despite all of these positive successes in government, his presidency is overshadowed by the Great Depression.

The Great Depression was the worst event of President Hoover’s presidency and one of the worst events in our nation’s history. On October 29, 1929 the stock market crashed to all time lows. Initially, the market rebounded and many thought it was a one time occurrence. However, “official unemployment figures in the United States rose from some 2.7 million in 1929 to about 4 million by mid-1930.”3 It seemed like the public sentiment changed overnight, because “suddenly the Republican strategy of claiming responsibility for the boom backfired as prosperity turned to disparity.”1 President Hoover, contrary to what people both now and then think, did take action immediately regarding the economic meltdown. Initially he met with heads of corporations and personally asked them not to reduce worker wages, which they all agreed to do. Hoover “insisted on volunteer committees, local effort, and no direct aid from the Federal Government until absolutely necessary. He thought that the proper place for most of the money to be expended was in strengthening banks, railroads, and other corporations.”1 This policy continued for a while, until Hoover and his advisors came to the realization that this was not going to pull the country out of the depression. “Hoover reacted by reducing his speaking schedule, canceling press conferences, and building a ‘wall of silence’ for what he thought was the public good.”1 President Hoover’s lack of public appearances and his stony demeanor, led the American people to view him in an increasing negative light. This negative light would haunt Hoover well into his post presidency. He abandoned “the role of leader of the people [and] concentrated on the traditional presidential role as the administrative head of government.”1

In order to combat the Great Depression, Hoover instituted several actions which had some lasting benefit. First, mostly as a symbolic gesture, he refused his presidential salary and donated it to charity. He signed into law the nation’s first unemployment assistance program and increased public works spending. Under Hoover, he increased the amount of money states received from the federal government for local public works projects.3 The Federal Home Loan Bank Act was signed into law under Hoover and provided assistance to families seeking to purchase a home. President Hoover, with experience doing this back during World War I, established a committee, with his wife playing a crucial role, to coordinate private charities across the country. This was Hoover’s preferred method in dealing with the Depression, letting private charity handle the poor. These all aided those affected by the Depression and historians agreed probably slowed down and minimized some of the effects.4All of this positive work done by the Hoover Administration was squandered when he decided to raise tariffs. The worse tariff was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which was signed into law in 1930 by Hoover. Economists petitioned Hoover not to sign the bill, but on the campaign trail, he promised to raise tariffs to protect farmers. Instead of helping out the United States, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff caused other country’s to raise their rates resulting in a drop in the purchase of American goods. In retrospect, the tariff worsened the Depression within the United States and probably the world as a whole.4 Because Hoover withdrew in order to oversee the recovery process, his opponents had virtual "free reign to reinforce the public doubts about the wisdom of his policies."1 This led to a steep drop in Hoover’s popularity and massive protests against his administration. By the time 1932 rolled around, unemployment was at 8 million people. Other unpopular moves by President Hoover included presiding over the largest tax increase in history. Hoover raised the income tax on “the highest incomes from 25% to 63%, the estate tax was doubled, and corporate taxes were raised by …15%.”4 This extra revenue funded some of the government projects, but also caused businesses to fire more employees because of the higher taxes.

Another embarrassing incident during Hoover’s presidency was the Bonus Army march on WashingtonD.C. In June of 1932, World War I veterans marched on the capital in the hopes of getting pay bonuses that were promised to them by the Adjusted Service Certificate Law of 1924. When they began to demonstrate, troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur entered Washington and clashed with the protesters. Two were killed and hundreds injured. The assault by the federal troops happened without the consent of President Hoover who looked bad publicly and weak when he did not reprimand General MacArthur for stepping out of line.3 The Bonus Army march happened at the height of the presidential nomination season, when Hoover was re-nominated and the Democrats nominated Franklin Roosevelt to take on Hoover in November and thus Roosevelt was buoyed by the Bonus Army march and remarked to Felix Frankfurter, “Well, Felix, this will elect me.”3

President Hoover had poor relations with Congress, even though both houses were controlled by the Republicans, and consistently attempted to get public support for his programs. “Hoover repeatedly failed to get members of Congress to advance his agenda, even though Republicans outnumbered Democrats 267 to 167 in the Seventy-first Congress. In the Senate, the Republicans held a seventeen-seat margin over the Democrats 56-39.”[vi] (6) The poor relationship was not just restricted to Great Depression recovery programs, but also to normal items on his agenda. Hoover was encouraged to appeal to the people for some of his programs, but those pleas fell of deaf ears.

“Hoover objected to going public, since ‘he felt that to be making continued appeals to the country over the head of Congress would, even if successful, only result in discredit of the legislative branch’. Hoover preferred instead to gather what he thought were objective facts and make policy decisions based on those facts rather than compromise with ideological opponents. To Hoover, engaging in arguments with Congress was undignified, unprofessional, and detrimental to the constitutional process!”6

Since Hoover continued to sidestep a healthy debate with Congress, the situation got to the point where Hoover’s liaison to Congress was so hated that no one would communicate with him. “Any hope of charming members of Congress…was all but abandoned. Hoover refused to win over congressional friends with his personality or the personal perks of the presidency; public and personal interactions with Congress…were to be avoided altogether!”6 This set up factions within the Republican Party, with many members of Congress not siding with Hoover. The lack of communication and relations among the executive and legislative branch compounded one of the worse economic times our country has ever seen. President Hoover and Congress should be working hand in hand in the hopes of coming up with a solution to the crisis. This should be the case when the same party controls both the Congress and the White House! “Republicans…saw Hoover as a self-advertising foreign policy interventionist who rose to popularity without progressing through the party ranks,”6 like they did, so thus they did not want to support him. The Great Depression led to voters kicking Republican incumbents out of office beginning in 1930, putting the House of Representatives in the hands of the Democrats and the Senate remained Republican by a one vote majority. With divided government in place, President Hoover surprisingly got more economic aid through than when it was united government under his party.

The election of 1932 was a pivotal one for our country. It was one of the few realigning ones and changed the course of history forever. “Hoover faced a campaign in 1932 in which he was (1) blamed by many for the worst depression in history; (2) vilified by most of the country as incompetent, uncaring, and reactionary; and (3) overmatched in rhetorical skills. Hoover had no chance of winning, and he knew it.”1 Regardless, Hoover put up a fight and traveled more extensively than any previous president seeking reelection. His Democratic opponent was “Franklin Roosevelt--a candidate Hoover thought deficient in stamina, mental acuity and character. In Roosevelt, Hoover saw, ‘demagoguery, political patronage, opportunism."[vii](7) Roosevelt “painted Hoover as devoid of compassion, indifferent to the agony of his countrymen [and that] ……Hoover was ‘responsible’ for the depression, ‘did nothing’ to allay its tragedy, and squandered billions on this ‘nothing."1 The irony of the situation is that back in 1920, Hoover and Roosevelt were quite fond of each other and admired each other for the work that they did during World War I. By 1932 however, they were no longer friendly. Hoover intended to embark on a limited campaign of a few speeches on the radio and a handful of campaign appearances. When the realization was that the Republican Party was going to lose in a landslide, he stepped up his game and came out defending his actions during the Great Depression in the hopes of salvaging his presidency. In the end, though Hoover lost in a landslide. Roosevelt won 472 electoral votes and 57% of the popular vote compared to Hoover’s 59 electoral votes and 40% of the popular vote. This was a dramatic turnaround compared to the last election, mainly due to the fact that President Hoover lost 27% of his vote since 1928. 3 Republicans were also swept out of power in Congress, paving the way for Democratic domination for the next two decades.

Herbert Hoover enjoyed the longest post presidency in American history. As soon as he left office, Hoover began as a critic of Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. He feared that they were too experimental to be put in place. In the late 1930’s, Hoover traveled to Europe and met with both Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini as he toured through war ravaged countries. He was generally unimpressed at what he witnessed by the two men. After Pearl Harbor, Hoover vocally supported war and offered his services in any capacity, but President Roosevelt promptly refused to entertain the notion. After the war ended, President Truman asked Hoover to coordinate humanitarian relief efforts in Europe to which Hoover enthusiastically did. Truman and Hoover became close friends towards the end of their lives. Throughout the 1950’s, Hoover supported Dwight Eisenhower as President and helped to start Richard Nixon’s rise to the top, while serving as a Republican Party elder. President Hoover, being good friends with Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, served a political mentor to a young John F. Kennedy and was deeply saddened by his assassination only 11 months before his own death. On October 20, 1964, 31 years and 7 months after leaving office, former President Herbert Hoover died at age 90. His wife’s death preceded his by almost twenty years. Hoover’s death was the third major loss for the country in less than a year. His good friends General Douglas MacArthur and President John F. Kennedy also died. Hoover laid in state inside the CapitolBuilding and was buried with his wife in Iowa. By the time President Hoover died, his image as a “humanitarian had taken precedence in the public memory over the … politician.”4 He made a remarkable comeback from being one of the most hated men in America to someone remembered as a crusader for the average person. He was asked once on how he could have managed to survive politically for so long and his response was “I outlived the bastards.”4

Looking at how effective or ineffective of a president Herbert Hoover was, it is hard to tell. He was effective in many areas that were overshadowed by the Great Depression. Even though he could not save the economy, he did put in more of an effort than most people know or appreciate. After reading his biographies and journal articles about him, it is hard to view him as such a horrible president. Hoover happened to be at the wrong place, at the wrong time. He did not set into motion the events that caused the Great Depression and fought hard to fight it. “His uncompromising philosophy of limited government, with its reliance on voluntarism and individualism, was a major contributor to his…failures.”1 However, I must conclude, that although I was impressed at the positive aspects of his personal life and presidency, Herbert Hoover was an ineffective president.

In studying his presidency, I faced the dilemma of which was the best way to determine how effective or ineffective his presidency was. I ended up using several to explain a presidency that is more complex than one would expect. Hoover’s personal life factored greatly into how he ran the country and the decisions he made. His relations with Congress hampered his ability to get through vital legislation to aid our struggling nation. Public opinion and political realignment altered history in that, Hoover very well could have had a successful presidency and been reelected if he was able to get his message across during a time of crisis and if the political landscape of the country was not going to be altered by outside influences. His administrative skills were impeccable, but the country did not need an administrator behind the wheel that was not attuned to the pulse of the nation. Hoover was poor at managing the economy, working with Congress, persuading the American people, and at crisis management. In order to be a successful and effective president, you cannot afford to fair poorly in these vital areas. In Hoover’s defense, he was not given a fair assessment for a long time, but now more historians are coming to the realization that he was not as bad as originally thought. If history had worked for him, Hoover could have been a great caretaker president and would have gone down in history with a better record than what he ended up receiving. President Hoover had many glaring weaknesses and mistakes, but also some positives and successes that were ignored for a very long time. The fact of the matter is that he was not presidential material and probably should not have sought the office. At heart, Herbert Hoover was a great humanitarian and that is what salvaged his legacy after he left office. He was a good man, but was not what this country needed during this time. The United States needed a leader who would guide us through some of our darkest days, and the man who succeeded Herbert Hoover was just the person to do that.

[i] Martin Carcasson , “Herbert Hoover and the presidential campaign of 1932: The failure of apologia,” Presidential Studies Quarterly Spring 1998: 349.

[ii] “American Presidency Historian Rankings,” 15 Nov. 2007 <>

[iii] David Burner, Herbert Hoover: A Public Life (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1978)

[iv] Richard Norton Smith, An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1984)

[v] Charles E. Walcott and Karen M. Hult, “White House staff size: Explanations and Implications,” Presidential Studies Quarterly Sept. 1999: 638

[vi] Robert Eisinger, “Gauging public opinion in the Hoover White House: Understanding the roots of Presidential polling,” Presidential Studies Quarterly Dec. 2000: 643

[vii] William Thiemann, “President Hoover’s efforts on behalf of FDR’s 1932 Nomination.” Presidential Studies Quarterly 1994: 87

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Comments 7 comments

Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

Interesting hub....great work...thanks!

louie  6 years ago

that is long!!!

Grace Mary profile image

Grace Mary 6 years ago from Aurora, IL

This is a really nice look at Hoover. Thanks.

briana 6 years ago

this was a very heplful site..thankss

jessica 5 years ago

i am doing a report on herbert hoover and i found this info very very helpful so THANK YOU to whoever wrote this, much appreciated!! :)

Lauren 5 years ago

Thank you very much for this essay! I found it very useful in researching for an AP US history debate where I am defending Hoover. Thanks again!

laura rossel 5 years ago

thank you so much

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