Books: A President's Ordeal


THE GREAT DEPRESSION (503 pp.)—Herbert Hoover—Macmillan ($5).

One dark Thursday in October 1929, the hottest bull market in U.S. history caught fire, and in a matter of weeks $30 billion in paper stock values went up in smoke. As brokers jumped from their penthouses and amateur stock gamblers went to the wall, the U.S. began the calamitous descent into the Great Depression, the nation's most all-embracing crisis since the Civil War. For the world-famed economist, engineer and humanitarian who had confidently forecast the abolition of poverty before assuming the presidency seven months earlier, it was a blow...

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