Amity Shlaes' "New History of the Great Depression," as the book is subtitled, is just amazing. I knew little about Herbert Hoover. In 2008, pundits claimed that President Bush was taking action to avoid being another Hoover, a do-nothing. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
Hoover was known as "The Engineer" and as much a progressive activist as Roosevelt. I had no idea. Many of Roosevelt's early policies were simply a continuation of Hoover's. My parents grew up in the Depression and it was common knowledge among their generation that Roosevelt didn't get us out of the depression--World War II did. Yet today, that is all but forgotten.
What also came as a surprise was that not only did Roosevelt not lead us out of the Depression, but he made it worse. Massive spending, new taxes, soaking the rich, attempts to take over the utility industry.Any of this sound familiar?
She takes the story to January 1940 when the economy still hasn't recovered and war in Europe looms. I get the distinct feeling that Roosevelt may not have gotten that third term if we were not on the brink of war.
Wendel Wilke comes across as a much stronger figure than I thought. And whatever happened to Hoover after losing the election in 1932? He doesn't exactly fade away.
If you want to understand the halcyon days that Hilary and Barack and so many leftists hark back to, this is a must read. What they are trying to do is succeed where Roosevelt failed, to implement the rest of the socialist/communist/statist/elitist agenda.
Read and be warned. God help us if they succeed.
The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression.
Amity Shlaes, Harper, 2007
400pgs ISBN 978-0-06-093642-6