Whyte summons us to see Hoover as a human personality, more than just a walking embodiment of Great Depression studies. Hoover’s personality was the product of origins and early career that Whyte attentively details ... Whatever else the Trump presidency is doing and has done, it has closed the book on that old 'new conservatism.' It’s early to perceive what will succeed it, but it won’t be that. And when the time for succession comes, Hoover’s old party could learn things from his impressive career of public service. Among the great services of Ken Whyte’s elegant, lively, and witty biography is its unceasing reminder of this other Hoover ... To understand Hoover’s life, career, and his legacy in full, this rich new biography will certainly prove indispensable.
...an exemplary biography—exhaustively researched, fair-minded and easy to read. It can nestle on the same shelf as David McCullough’s Truman, a high compliment indeed ... Mr. Whyte is neutral almost to a fault in his judgment of Hoover, particularly the choices he made as president and beyond. However brilliant the man, he managed time and again to put himself on the wrong side of history, his inescapable legacy.
Whyte is an impressive stylist with a penchant for explaining political history to contemporary readers. This well-researched volume proves that Hoover, far from being a political failure, should be rightfully acknowledged as the father of New Deal liberalism and modern conservatism.