Aggressive Introvert: A Study of Herbert Hoover and Public Relations Management, 1912-1932

Aggressive Introvert: A Study of Herbert Hoover and Public Relations Management, 1912-1932

Aggressive Introvert: A Study of Herbert Hoover and Public Relations Management, 1912-1932

Aggressive Introvert: A Study of Herbert Hoover and Public Relations Management, 1912-1932

Excerpt

This study seeks to fill a gap in the existing historical literature about Herbert Hoover by providing a thematic analysis of one major facet of his life and career, namely, his development and use of an administrative style that relied heavily upon public relations techniques and was closely tied to a complex personality and deeply held philosophical commitments. To date, studies of this sort have been rare. Instead, the bulk of research and writing on Hoover has tended to consist either of unsystematic, journalistic biographies marked (and often marred) by strong biases pro and con, or, more recently, scholarly works dealing with quite specific phases or aspects of his career.

That no disciplined, wide-ranging studies have appeared in the almost four decades since Hoover left the White House is perhaps best explained in terms of the unique nature of his career and personality. The former, rising swiftly as it did, out of orphanage, obscurity, and poverty in the American West to international wealth, esteem, and influence and ultimately on to the American presidency, was truly epic. Its sheer scope and variety, combined until recently with the unavailability of primary research materials, have made treatment of it difficult and have thus far permitted only the most cursory description. Similarly, the puzzling personality of the man—of an individual who was at once a blend of small town American Quaker, professional mining engineer and scientist, and cosmopolitan administrator of huge organizations the world overhas made the search for meaningful continuity a difficult one, particularly since Hoover’s was a personality that cherished privacy and habitually sought concealment. This desire to shroud all matters pertaining to his private life was a trait that plagued his interviewers, biographers, and aides throughout his career, and one . . .

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