PUBLIC SERVICE PART ONE: A book I read because you're on the internet.

Down in Ejido Wonderful for the first time in 15 years with absolutely no motivation to go to Todos Santos. Genius granddaughter is a public radio nabob, and she gave me a three foot stack of books that people tried to pimp to her, but she's just too busy. So Mr. Knowitall has taken upon himself to be your friendly book reviewer. My first book is HOOVER: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times by Kenneth  Whyte.

First, this is a very well written biography. Whyte knows what he was doing, and he had years of combing through the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library as the only person there with a staff of librarians jumping to his every call. Hoover comes off as less than charismatic. He was no Ringo! But you begin to think that if he were alive today, he'd be giving Jeff Bezos (and Vladimir Putin) a run for their money.  Although he had a personality pretty much like a postage stamp -- he was an absolute organizational genius! What you are reading is a historic biography of what it takes to be a billionaire

Most people don't know that he almost single-handedly organized the Belgium Relief effort in World War One, channeling millions of tons of food to war-torn Europe. And as Secretary of Commerce under Calvin Coolidge, he set in motion government programs that were later expanded upon to become a part of FDR's New Deal, like the flood relief efforts for victims of the Mississippi River in 1928.

Hoover had been planning to run for President since 1920, and he didn't give up trying to run for re-election until 1944, but I'm pretty sure you know how the other side of the story was reported with FDR.

Hoover's bad fortune of course, was presiding over the worst economic downturn in history. And it's great to note that modern economists have pretty well dissected that subject. In reading this book, I periodically winced as Hoover (and the Federal Reserve Board) made one misstep after another.  It would be an interesting econometric game to do a simulation of Hoover 2.0 as he made correct decision after correct decision between 1929 and 1933 instead of what he actually did.

It's also interesting to see Hoover's perspectives on FDR.  Needless to say, that was all the ammunition that modern conservatives needed in their battles against the New Deal that continue to this day. Let's try not to think what's happening in the Trump White House right now.

All in all, HOOVER is a nice little walk in the park.


Views: 111

Comment by old new lefty on February 19, 2019 at 4:30am

For those observant enough. I was not psychic when I wrote this. I killed off an old blog to write this.

Comment by old new lefty on February 19, 2019 at 7:51am

By being a dufus and killing an old feed, I push myself down into the layers of invisibility in Our Salon. A free steak dinner to the first person from OS to actually comment!

Comment by alsoknownas on February 19, 2019 at 8:53am

Biographies don't grab me but your review does make this one sound like it has some points of interest.

Comment by old new lefty on February 19, 2019 at 9:43am

The steak dinner is yours the next I see you in person!

Comment by Maui Surfer on February 19, 2019 at 9:55am

First, this is THE MONTH of the year when Todos Santos becomes one of the Big Wave Surfing Meccas of the entire World:

As for Hoover, when near another huge wave spot, Mavericks, I groan each time I drive by the "Hoover" Institute at Stanford on the way to the coast. The guy WAS a genius businessman and engineer, but, he is living proof that Tinkle Down and the rest of Conservative BULLSHIT server nothing but to enrich scumbags and torture the poor who had no benefit of education or the knowledge of where to start their own enterprise. An impressive individual, a terrible politician and the word "Hooverville" is now forever in the lexicon and kicked around Oakland and San Jose surrounding his own lame ass "Think Tanks" ... yes, lets think how we can transfer all money to the 1% and let the homeless crap in the street.

Comment by old new lefty on February 19, 2019 at 9:59am

Todos Santos lost its luster when the ocean tried to drown me two times in one year.


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