Books: Iowa Boy Meets the World

THE MEMOIRS OF HERBERT HOOVER.

1874-1920 (496 pp.)—Herbert Hoover—Macmillan ($4).

For a boy on an Iowa farm in the 1870s, life was hard but wondrously uncomplicated. "The farm families were their own lawyers, labor leaders, engineers, doctors, tailors . . . That economic system avoided strikes, lockouts, class conflicts, labor boards and arbitration. It absolutely denied collective bargaining to small boys. The prevailing rate for picking potato bugs was one cent a hundred and if you wanted firecrackers on the Fourth of July you took it or left it."

A boy felt few vibrations from...

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