Herbert Hoover in the White House

Author Charles Rappleye is an award-winning investigative journalist and editor. He has

Author Charles Rappleye, photo credit Eric Minh Swenson.

Author Charles Rappleye, photo credit Eric Minh Swenson.

written extensively on media, law enforcement, and organized crime. The author of Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution; Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolution; and his new book –  Herbert Hoover in the White House: The Ordeal of the Presidency. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Rappleye’s surprising portrait of the Depression-era president, Herbert Hoover, reveals a  very different figure than the usual Hoover, engaged and active but loathe to experiment and conscious of his inability to convey hope to the country.

Herbert Clark Hoover was the thirty-first President of the United States He served one term, from 1929 to 1933. Often  considered placid, passive, unsympathetic, and even paralyzed by national events, Hoover faced an uphill battle in the face of  the  Great  Depression. Many historians dismiss him as merely ineffective. But in Herbert Hoover in the White House, Charles Rappleye draws on rare and intimate sources—memoirs and diaries and thousands of  documents kept by members of his cabinet and close advisors—to reveal a very different figure than the one often portrayed. The real Hoover, argues Rappleye, just lacked the tools of leadership.

Herbert Hoover in the White House: The Ordeal of the Presidency by Charles Rappleye.

Herbert Hoover in the White House: The Ordeal of the Presidency by Charles Rappleye.

The Hoover presented in this book comes as a surprise to both his longtime defenders and his many critics. In public Hoover was shy and retiring, but in private he is revealed as a man of passion and sometimes of fury, a man who intrigued against his enemies while fulminating over plots against him. Rappleye describes him as more sophisticated and more active in economic policy than is often acknowledged. We see Hoover watching  a  sunny  (and he thought ignorant) FDR on the horizon. FDR did not “cure” the depression, but he  experimented  with  steps  that  relieved  it.  Most  importantly   he broke the mood of doom almost immediately. The Hoover we see here—bright,  well  meaning,  energetic—lacked  the  single   critical element to succeed as president. He had a first-class mind and a second-class  temperament.

Herbert Hoover in the White House is an object lesson in the  most, perhaps only, talent needed to  be  a  successful  president—the temperament of leadership. Rappleye will be speaking at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum on May 21, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. For more information: 319-643-5301 or http://www.hoover.archives.gov

This entry was posted in Books, Herbert Hoover, Presidency, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s