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Hoover: The Press and Presidential Failure

  • Stephen Ponder
Chapter

Abstract

The disastrous single term of Herbert Hoover has become synonymous with presidential failure in the political history of the twentieth century. Hoover carried 40 of the 48 states in the 1928 election as the nation’s “master of emergencies,” a humane, hard-working, efficient public official. Four years later, Hoover was a figure of public ridicule, the subject of scornful jokes and partisan attacks about his inability to end the country’s economic collapse. Hoover was easily defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt when he sought reelection in 1932, and the image of Hoover’s failed presidency has been carried forward by generations of historians.1

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Notes

  1. 1.
    For a historiographic overview, see Ellis W. Hawley, “Herbert Hoover and Modern American History: Sixty Years and After,” 1–38, in Mark Dodge, ed., Herbert Hoover and the Historians (West Branch, Ia.: Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association, 1989).Google Scholar
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  26. 37.
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  27. 38.
    “Confer with Hoover on News Methods,” Editor and Publisher 61 (2 March 1929): 12. George H. Manning, “Hoover Liberalizes Press Conferences,” Editor and Publisher 61 (9 March 1929): 7. Liebovich, Bylines in Despair, 90–1.Google Scholar
  28. 39.
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  29. 42.
    Ray T.Tucker, “Mr. Hoover Lays a Ghost,” North American Review 227 (June 1929): 661—9. For Tucker’s pre-election view, see “Is Hoover Human?” North American Review 226 (November 1928): 513–9.Google Scholar
  30. 43.
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  33. 48.
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  34. 49.
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  35. 53.
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  36. 55.
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  37. 56.
    For a prescient observation, see J. Fred Essary, “Hoover, Sensitive to Criticism, Will Tighten Relations with Press,” Editor and Publisher 61 (16 February 1929): 8. See also I. H. Hoover, Forty-Two Years in the White House, 188.Google Scholar
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  40. 59.
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  41. 60.
    Will Kollock, “The Story of a Friendship: Mark Sullivan and Herbert Hoover,” Pacific Historian 18 (Spring 1974), 31—48. I. H. Hoover, Forty-Two Years at the White House, 209.Google Scholar
  42. 62.
    Richard V. Oulahan, “Capitol Corps Praised for Diligence,” Editor and Publisher 63 (25 April 1931): 32. See also Ritchie, Press Gallery, 213–6.Google Scholar
  43. 63.
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  44. 65.
    Frank R. Kent, “Charley Michelson,” Scribner’s 88 (September 1930): 290–6.Google Scholar
  45. 66.
    Lloyd, Aggressive Introvert, 172. George H. Manning, “Wickersham Report Easily Handled,” Editor and Publisher 63 (24 January 1931): 6.Google Scholar
  46. 68.
    For the first two installments, see George H. Manning, “Subtle Censorship on Government News is Arising Steadily in Washington,” Editor and Publisher 64 (5 September 1931): 5—6,Google Scholar
  47. and Manning, “Washington Corps Plans Committee to Check Official News Stifling,” Editor and Publishing 64 (12 September 1931): 12. See also an editorial, “No Political Censorship,” Editor and Publisher 64 (26 September 1931): 48,Google Scholar
  48. and Manning, “White House News Ban on Bank Parley Upset by Correspondents,” Editor and Publisher 64 (10 October 1931): 4–5.Google Scholar
  49. 69.
    George H. Manning, “Joslin Suggests News ‘Consultations,’” Editor and Publisher 64 (19 September 1931): 7.Google Scholar
  50. 70.
    Elliott Thurston, “Hoover Can Not Be Elected,” Scribner’s 91 (January 1932): 13–16.Google Scholar
  51. 71.
    Ray T. Tucker, The Mirrors of 1932 (New York: Brewer, Warren and Putnam, 1931), 23.Google Scholar
  52. 73.
    Herbert Corey, “The Presidents and the Press,” Saturday Evening Post 204 (9 January 1932) : 25, 96—104. On Lorimer’s role, see Tebbel and Watts, The Press and the Presidency, 415–7.Google Scholar
  53. 75.
    Walter Millis, “The President,” Atlantic Monthly 149 (March 1921) : 265–78.Google Scholar

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© Stephen Ponder 1998

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  • Stephen Ponder

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