Who was Herbert Hoover? Somehow, despite all the research and analysis, Hoover remains an elusive figure. Was he, historians have wondered, an ossified nineteenthcentury liberal or a sophisticated, twentieth-century “corporate liberal”? A spokesman for “rugged individualism” or a proto–New Dealer? A quintessential product of rural and small-town America or a modern managerial elitist? The last of the “old” presidents, or the first of the “new”?
—George H. Nash
Who was Lou Henry Hoover and what made her tick? This question, which seems simple enough at first glance, actually poses a significant challenge for me as a biographer of Lou Hoover…. [She] lived an exceptional life and she shared the public stage with many prominent individuals. Her years as an activist coincided with a dynamic period of history. An abiding commitment to women’s issues placed her in the forefront of individuals who widened the options available to women.
—Nancy Beck Young