Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

The Presidents and the Constitution: A Living History

Publication Date



Herbert Clark Hoover, first an international businessman, a global hero during World War I, and then a cabinet officer under Presidents Harding and Coolidge, was elected president in 1928. The next year, as President Hoover embarked on his progressive agenda for the country, the Roaring Twenties ended, crashingly, in the Great Depression. Hoover responded inadequately, constrained more by his own beliefs in volunteerism than by constitutional limits on his powers. His failure to relieve public suffering overshadowed his presidential accomplishments, including innovative government programs and three Supreme Court appointments.


Chapter author, Herbert Hoover and the Constitution, in The Presidents and the Constitution: A Living History (Ken Gormley, ed., New York University Press, 2016). Reprinted with permission of NYU Press.



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