The Worst Hard Time

The Worst Hard Time

by

Timothy Egan

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– The 31st President of the United States. Hoover was born in a small town in Iowa in 1874 and grew up in Oregon. He later attended Stanford University and studied mining engineering. He served in the cabinets of Presidents Harding and Coolidge and, in 1928, became the Republican presidential nominee. He was elected during a period of prosperity but oversaw the Crash of 1929 and witnessed its devastating repercussions throughout the country. Hoover had once claimed that the United States was finally solving the problem of poverty, but now he watched as millions of people stood in breadlines. In regard to farmers, he refused to intervene when wheat prices dropped, believing that it was best to let the free market weed out the “losers.” Hoover’s laissez-faire (“hands-off”) approach was perceived as callous, and he was resoundingly defeated in the 1932 election. His most notable achievement is the construction of the Hoover Dam in Nevada. Construction on the Colorado River began in 1931, and it was completed in 1935.

Herbert Hoover Quotes in The Worst Hard Time

The The Worst Hard Time quotes below are all either spoken by Herbert Hoover or refer to Herbert Hoover . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Westward Expansion and the Settlement of the Southern Plains Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the First Mariner edition of The Worst Hard Time published in 2006.
Chapter 3 Quotes

“Americans are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of the land,” said the new president, Herbert Hoover, who took office in 1929. He had won in a landslide, breaking the Democratic hold on the solid South, taking the prairie states with him. The tractors rolled on, the grass yanked up, a million acres a year, turned and pulverized; in just five years, 1925 to 1930, another 5.2 million acres of native sod went under the plow in the southern plains—an area the size of two Yellowstone National Parks.

Related Characters: Herbert Hoover (speaker)
Related Symbols: Wheat
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

Elsewhere in 1938, the recovery and the energy of the New Deal had run out of steam. More than four million people lost their jobs in the wake of government cutbacks, and the stock market fell sharply again. Some of the gloom that enveloped the country at midterm in President Hoover’s reign was back. In the Dust Bowl, the fuzz of a forced forest and the re-tilling of tousled dirt did not stop the wind or bring more rain, but it was a plan in motion—something—and that was enough to inspire people to keep the faith. As Will Rogers said, “If Roosevelt burned down the Capital we would cheer and say, ‘Well, we at least got a fire started anyhow.’” The High Plains had been culled of thousands of inhabitants […] But as the dirty decade neared its end, the big exodus was winding down. The only way that folks who stayed behind would leave now, they said, was horizontal, in a pine box.

Page Number: 304-305
Explanation and Analysis:
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Herbert Hoover Character Timeline in The Worst Hard Time

The timeline below shows where the character Herbert Hoover appears in The Worst Hard Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: Last of the Great Plowup
Westward Expansion and the Settlement of the Southern Plains Theme Icon
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
Environmental Devastation and the Dust Bowl Theme Icon
...government could purchase the wheat and use it to feed the hungry, but President Herbert Hoover rejected the idea right away. (full context)
Chapter 6: First Wave
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
...1.5. million people were unemployed. That number tripled by February of the following year. President Hoover insisted that the economy was not sick; Americans simply no longer believed in themselves. (full context)
Chapter 7: A Darkening
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
Farmers begged Washington for relief, but President Hoover refused to budge on his position not to interfere with the market. Farmers rebelled. The... (full context)
Chapter 9: New Leader, New Deal
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
President Hoover was becoming increasingly unpopular. Most Americans paid no income tax in 1932, but Hoover wanted... (full context)
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
Hoover was an engineer and an entrepreneur. He was worth four million dollars at the start... (full context)
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
Hoover believed that the way to end the Depression was to help factory owners and business... (full context)
Anglo Culture and Racism Theme Icon
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
...crushed. In the November election, Roosevelt won Oklahoma and every other state except for six. Hoover said that the Democrats under Roosevelt had become a “mob,” while Murray said that Roosevelt... (full context)