The Wrong Man At The Wrong Time

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On his last day in office, the Washington correspondent of the New York Times found Hoover “standing at the window looking out at the Washington Monument. His eyes were red; it was clear he had been weeping. We sat down and he said slowly that the country was in terrible condition, ... that the whole economy was in jeopardy.” His presidency was ending to the din of crashing banks, to the stillness of thousands of miles of assembly lines. At midnight he faced up to the inevitable. “We are at the end of our string,” he said. “There is nothing more we can do.”

From the book HERBERT HOOVER from The American Presidents Series by William E. Leuchtenburg; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Sean Wilentz, General Editors. Copyright © 2009 by William E. Leuchtenburg. Reprinted by arrangement with Times Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.