The Herbert Hoover Story

The Herbert Hoover Story

The Herbert Hoover Story

The Herbert Hoover Story

Excerpt

A FANTASTIC HOOVER MYTH, FACTUally false and humanly unjust, has been industriously promoted during many years by hordes of official and volunteer propagandists and is still very much in circulation. It presents our thirty-first President as a heartless ogre, inept and callous and reactionary, who "caused" a depression, then "did nothing" to mitigate its horrors.

Anyone who doubts the magnitude and the virulence of the myth might test it, as I did, through young people who have no personal memory of the Hoover period, having grown up during three and a half Roosevelt terms. Only the least critical among them, I found, have swallowed the anti-Hoover legend whole. But nearly all of them have accepted as historical fact some portion of the fable of a President who "brought" economic disaster to his country and stubbornly refused to undo the mischief or succor the victims.

And why not? How could anyone avoid absorbing some part of the great myth? It was in the press, on the radio, in the very air we breathed. Legions of experts on the government pay rolls were engaged in "selling" the New Deal which, inevitably, meant unselling the Old Deal.

A thousand times children in their most impressionable years heard offhand reference to the "Hoover depression" and weighty warnings against return to "Hoover breadlines." They saw a President mocked and caricatured in endless ways. And they . . .

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