Herbert Hoover is not usually remembered as one of America's revered presidents. Seemingly austere and reportedly passive in the face of a national economic calamity, he has remained, to this day, a political orphan, unwelcome in liberal and conservative pantheons alike.
But Hoover was a much more dynamic, accomplished, and indeed remarkable figure than hoary stereotypes suggest, as biographer George H. Nash asserts in a discussion of Herbert Hoover on Thursday, August 30, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Hoover was an internationally acclaimed mining engineer and humanitarian who saved countless lives during and after World War I. He entered the White House in 1929 as a self-styled progressive Republican with an ambitious agenda for social betterment, fueled by a political philosophy he termed "American Individualism." Unlike most American statesmen then or since, he had a well articulated social vision which he sought both to implement and defend.
Nash's talk examines the career and philosophy of America's thirty-first president, a man almost nobody knows but whom Americans ought to know, if we are to understand ournation's past without prejudice.
George H. Nash is an authority on Hoover. Between 1975 and 1995 he lived in Iowa near the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, where he prepared three volumes of a definitive, scholarly biography under the general title The Life of Herbert Hoover. He is the author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 and Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatism.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407.
The event is part of the Hail to the Chiefs series on the American Presidency co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library and the Truman Library Institute and co-sponsored by KCUR's Up to Date.