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PostUS: Herbert Hoover (John Eipper, USA, 06/15/05 1:55 pm)
Glenn Reinhart asks: What was Hoover like as a person to you?? What do you most remember about him in his personal style?? RH: I have never known such an embittered individual, which is natural since he had gone from the acme of national popularity to the nadir of public contempt. This unfair condemnation, understandable during the Great Depression, hurt him deeply. His supporters tried hard to buck him up. Once, with Harold Fisher, I visited him in his office in the Hoover Tower, which in his honor I would like to see renamed the Hoover Peace Tower. Professor Fisher, the director of the Hoover Institute and a most likeable person who had worked with Hoover for years,? tried every means to break the ice, calling him chief in a respectful way.? Hoover just sat there glowering.? Our house is very close to the Hoover House, and we often saw him going for a walk? Our daughter, than a small child, imagined she as a dog and barked at him.? It was funny, but he was not amused. We also knew his son who lived in Palo Alto.? He was a charming person, and he invited us to tea.? We avoided the topic of the former President's state of mind. The basic problem is socio-economic. During the Depression people were looking for a scapegoat, and Hoover was the obvious one. Then there is something in the American system which unfortunately oils the wheel of political fortune, making the downs especially painful. Stanford owes an enormous debt to Herbert Hoover, and I want him to be remembered as the peace maker rather than the depression maker.