Jan 20, 2009

The Riddle of Herbert Hoover

(Slate) - ... What made Hoover's energy in these jobs so strange was his steadfast commitment throughout to private effort instead of public programs. His 1922 tract American Individualism was, despite some progressive notes, what Leuchtenburg calls a "jejune screed" offering "nothing that could not be heard at a weekly Kiwanis luncheon." Leuchtenburg explains the contradiction in Hoover by showing how in each of his previous experiences, he ascribed his feats not to the government resources at his disposal but to the charitable spirit of leading citizens—a stubborn misperception that would later cripple him. Continued