Hoover by Kenneth Whyte


Kenneth Whyte

Hoover is the definitive biography that captures the full scale of Herbert Hoover's extraordinary life.

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The definitive biography of Herbert Hoover, one of the most remarkable Americans of the twentieth century--a revisionist account that will forever change the way Americans understand the man, his presidency, and his battle against the Great Depression.

A poor orphan who built a fortune, a great humanitarian, a president elected in a landslide and then routed in the next election, arguably the father of both New Deal liberalism and modern conservatism--Herbert Hoover is also one of our least understood presidents, conventionally seen only as a heartless failure for his handling of the Great Depression.
     Kenneth Whyte fully captures this rich, dramatic life: from Hoover's difficult childhood to his meteoric business career, his work saving hundreds of thousands of lives during World War I and after the 1927 Mississippi floods, his presidency, his painful defeat by Roosevelt, and his return to grace as Truman's emissary to help European refugees after World War II. Whyte brings to life Hoover's complexity and contradictions--his modesty and ambition, ruthlessness and extreme generosity--as well as his political legacy. Here is the epic, poignant story of the poor boy who became the most accomplished figure of his time, who worked ceaselessly to fight the Depression yet became the public face of America's greatest economic crisis. Here, for the first time, is the definitive biography that captures the full scale of this extraordinary life.

Advance Galley Reviews

Kenneth Whyte is a wonderful author. Hoover is a very well-written and well-thought out biography. Hoover is a very interesting man and how he overcame the challenges in his life are astonishing to say the least. It did get a little dry at times, however, I have found with most historical biographies, this can be the case. It was still a very interesting read and it did bring some clarity to Hoover's life. Will definitely recommend to my historical biography friends.

Thank you for offering me this ARC, however it is not a title I am interested in.

Not something I am interrested in reading. Thank you for the ARC.

I love biographies, especially when they are about "private" people in the public eye. This was a much easier task to accomplish in Hoover's time, but still... Hoover's name is bandied about for a number of reasons (e.g., Hoovervilles, Hoover Dam), but once I began reading this very detailed and well-written book, I realized how little I actually knew about the man himself. He has tended, I think, to be overshadowed by the significantly difficult times in which he found himself. From his humble and rather severe childhood to his years after the White House, Whyte has done a masterful job at recreating a surprisingly private life in meticulously researched detail. There is a LOT of information here, and while it is presented in clear language and a solid writing style, it is (as other reviewers have noted) not really for the casual reader... This is a scholarly biography, not so much a narrative story. If you are serious a fan of history though, this is a marvelous book - the times Hoover lived through were fascinating ones, in terms of both domestic and international events, and there is a great deal of interesting facts and tidbits to be found in these 800+ pages.

I am very unsure why I was selected to receive this title since I am in no way a person who enjoys reading biographies; even biographies of people I love do not entice me. This book is probably great to an avid biography reader, someone into politics/history and past presidents, but to me it was dry, unable to hold my interest and ultimately i did not finish it. The few pages I did read were very well written and though, so I must give the author that credit. Its about 800 pages of something I have no interest in so I feel really terrible that this was wasted on me when it could have been given to someone more suitable. I did not request the title myself. Very sorry if this review was not helpful.

Many thanks for offering me this title. I am not sure why I was selected as I don't normally read biographies and didn't request it so am probably not the target audience. This is described as a definitive biography of an influential 20th century politician. However,I am afraid I could not get to grips with it at all. It was incredibly dry and I got no sense of Hoover as a person at all. But as I say I am.not the target audience so my lack of appreciation is probably not the same as someone who is interested in this period .

An in depth and well-written biography of Herbert Hoover chronicling his early years of a poor boy shuffled among relatives, to achieving the highest office in the land. Many anecdotes from his ventures and adventures around the world. Hoover, a seemingly uncomplicated man who achieved so much during trying circumstances and a humanitarian throughout his long life. He was driven and relentless and had some business ups and downs, even a close call during the Boxer Revolution. He was involved with political and social endeavors and was a remarkable man whose career was overshadowed by the Depression era. A large volume of information written in textbook format is the only drawback. Hoover enthusiasts will enjoy the wealth of information, casual readers may find it hard to stick with.

Terrible sorry Mr. Kenneth Whyte but I found Hoover to be only a little less dry than cinnamon and just as hard to choke down. Not to say that Kenneth Whyte is not someone I wouldn't attempt to read again I just found the subject matter boring. He tells the story he is trying to tell very well or at least very educationally but that is sort of the problem. It's a bit like trying to read a history book and lets be honest history books take all of the fun out history. If you are actually interested in Herbert Hoover then this is the book for you, it is a well written story. But if your only mildly interested or not at all interested then I wouldn't bother. You will find yourself reading the same paragraph multiple times and struggling to get interested in the subject matter. It just isn't written so well that despite the dull history feel you can find yourself swept into the story.


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