"Prizewinning historian Glen Jeansonne delves into the life of our most misunderstood president, offering up a surprising new portrait of Herbert Hoover--dismissing previous assumptions and revealing a political Progressive in the mold of Theodore Roosevelt, and the most resourceful American since Benjamin Franklin. Orphaned at an early age and raised with strict Quaker values, Hoover earned his way through Stanford University. His hardworking ethic drove him to a successful career as an engineer and multinational businessman. During the Great War, he led a humanitarian effort that fed millions of Europeans left destitute--arguably saving more lives than any man in history. As commerce secretary under President Coolidge, Hoover helped modernize and galvanize American industry and orchestrated the rehabilitation of the Mississippi Valley after the Great Flood of 1927. As president, Herbert Hoover became the first chief executive to harness federal power to combat a crippling global recession. Though Hoover is often remembered as a "do-nothing" president, Jeansonne convincingly portrays a steadfast leader who challenged Congress on an array of legislation that laid the groundwork for the New Deal. In addition, Hoover reformed America's prisons, improved worker safety, and fought for better health and welfare for children. Unfairly attacked by Franklin D. Roosevelt and blamed for the Depression, Hoover was swept out of office in a landslide. Yet as FDR's government grew into a bureaucratic behemoth, Hoover became the moral voice of the GOP and a champion of Republican principles--a legacy reignited by Ronald Reagan that still endures today."--Dust jacket.