Uncommon Americans: The Lives and Legacies of Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover

By Timothy Walch | Go to book overview

VI
Exile and Return

When Herbert Hoover left the White House in March 1933, there was little reason to expect that much would be heard from him in the years that followed. … Of all the possible activities that he might pursue, involvement in partisan politics seemed the least likely of any.

—Gary Dean Best

On April 12, 1945, Roosevelt died at his vacation home in Warm Springs, Georgia. Hoover had outlived his great rival, though this offered little consolation for his years as a political outsider, for having carried the burden of “responsibility for the Great Depression,” and for having been judged a failed president.

—Hal Elliott Wert

In 1998, I had the honor of giving a tour of the Hoover Library to Eunice Kennedy Shriver…. I asked Mrs. Shriver why it was so important that she visit West Branch. “My father told me many times,” she said, “that Herbert Hoover was the smartest man he ever met and I wanted to pay my respects to the person who meant so much to my father.” Quite a tribute.

—Timothy Walch

In the years remaining to him, Hoover never lost his yen for a good fight in a good cause…. Hoover never did accomplish his major objective—rolling back the New Deal political revolution—but he could take solace in winning some battles and crusading at all opportunities for the values he held dear.

—Michael J. Birkner

-193-

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