AMERICAN FRIEND: HERBERT HOOVER by Anne Emery

AMERICAN FRIEND: HERBERT HOOVER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A peculiar paradox: this, the fourth recent juvenile on Hoover, scores for its inclusion of substantially more and more-detailed material on his quasi-public and public activities, suffers from a partisan position on his political career. The approach here is also more personal, more interest-oriented than in its predecessors, and perhaps more attractive to the uninterested reader, without the superficial fictionalization which the author's name suggests. Hoover's achievements in providing sustenance to suffering Europeans during World War I, in collecting original materials for the use of future historians, in extending government responsibility as Secretary of Commerce, benefit most from this extended treatment. As the account develops, the author's own identification with her hero and his political as well as personal philosophy becomes increasingly evident, and reader identification is elicited in the defense of a public figure in terms of the 1930's: the child is projected into a controversial period he is not able to assess objectively if he reads only this one biography. Specifically, a Democratic decision to ""smear Hoover"" is cited as the chief reason for the country's disenchantment with the President; the Democrats' chief publicist, and later FDR, are the villains of the period. This weakness handicaps, for the juvenile collection, an otherwise full and pleasantly told life-and-times.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1967
Publisher: Rand McNally