10 June 2013

Hoover biography and genealogy


In my blog article about the royal wedding in Stockholm last Saturday, I wondered about - or pondered on - the guest named Herbert Hoover and his possible family connection to the 31st president. I have not come any closer to an answer yet, though. I have asked the office of  the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in Iowa, but as the wedding guest is a private person, the office is of course under no requirement to answer. And the wedding guest doesn't have to be related even if he bears the president's name.

But all the pondering has made me more curious about the president, so today I ordered the Kindle version of Glen Jeansonne's biography The Life of Herbert Hoover. Fighting Quaker 1928-1933 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). The biography is according to its preface the fifth in a series of volumes about President Hoover sponsored by the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association. The three first volumes, written by George H. Nash, gives the story of Hoover's life to 1918, while the fourth volume, written by Kendrick Clements, continues until 1928. As the title suggests, Jeansonne's biography covers the election and the presidency, 1928-1933. If I want to read a biography which covers the whole life of the president, I could for instance order William E. Leuchtenburg's biography on Hoover (Times Books, 2009, in the American Presidents series). Or I could limit myself to the chapters about the president in Hans Olav Lahlum's Presidentene. Fra George Washington til George W. Bush (Oslo: Cappelen Damm, 2008), Ole O. Moen's USAs presidenter. Fra George Washington til George W. Bush (Oslo: Historie & Kultur, 2008) or perhaps Carter Smith's Presidents. All you need to know (Hylas Publishing, revised edition, 2005). The latter is a bit too short, though.The full title of the book is actually - or seems to be - Presidents. Every question answered. Everything you could possibly want to know about the Nation's Chief Executives. Brian Lamb's Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb. A Tour of Presidential Gravesites (New York: Public Affairs, 2003) might provide a better alternative. It is one of the most entertaining books I own - and have read. I am of course open to suggestions about other books which cover President Hoover.

Best biography I have read about a US president so far? David McCullough on John Adams and Kenneth D. Ackerman's Dark Horse. The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003) definately share the first prize.

But back to Herbert Hoover again. I thought his great-grandchild Margaret Hoover's book American Individualism. How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party (Crown Forum, 2011) looked interesting too, so I ordered it as well. Plenty of reading this summer, in other words...

If anyone wondered, Margaret's family connection to President Hoover goes as follows:

Herbert Clark Hoover (1874-1964), 31st President of the USA --> Allan Hoover (1907-1993) --> Andrew Hoover (1940-) --> Margaret Hoover (1977).

(Hoover Genealogy at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, Iowa.)

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