Book Review - the Great Depression

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Amanda Carrion
Review of The Great Depression America 1929-1941 by Robert S. McElvaine September 2, 2004
The Great Depression America 1929-1941 by Robert S. McElvaine covers many topics of American history during the "Great Depression" through 1941. The topic that I have selected to compare to the text of American, Past and Present, written by Robert A. Divine, T.H. Breen, George M. Frederickson and R. Hal Williams, is Herbert Hoover, the thirty-first president of the United States and America's president during the horrible "Great Depression". Divine et al., state that Hoover was a "sober, intelligent, and immensely hardworking" man. McElvaine concurs and explains that "at the age of 29, Hoover was a financier-promoter-geologist-engineer-metallurgist". Divine et al., characterize Herbert Hoover by saying "Hoover epitomized the American myth of a self-made man" and he "embodied the nation's faith in individualism and free enterprise". McElvaine agrees and explains that Hoover "Orphaned and very poor at the age of nine, was a self-made millionaire thirty years later". McElvaine, in agreement, goes on to say that Hoover himself held the opinion that if a man "has not made a million dollars by the time he is forty he is not worth much." After making his fortune he moved on to various jobs and positions abroad and at home, in 1921 he was appointed by President Harding to the position of Secretary of Commerce. During his tenure as Secretary of Commerce for the Harding-Coolidge administrations, McElvaine reveals that Hoover "was the greatest secretary of commerce in our history". McElvaine explains that Hoover "had no use for the strict laissez-fair attitude of the nineteenth century" and goes on to say that Hoover often said "the root of problem in our economic system was the unfair distribution of income between labor and capital". Divine et al., affirm McElvaine's statements adding that Hoover "sought cooperation between government and...
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