Herbert Hoover was a successful engineer and businessman. He held a number of appointed positions, including serving as Secretary of Commerce for Presidents Harding and Coolidge, but had never held elected office before winning the 1928 election in a landslide. Eight months after he took office, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression hit the United States. Hoover's reaction to the economic crisis is almost universally considered to be inadequate. He did embark on some public works projects (Hoover Dam), but nothing of the scale necessary to address the severity of the crisis. Not only was his economic policy inadequate, Hoover embarked on an episode of racial deportation that is rarely taught to our children: the so-called Mexican Repatriation forcefully deported between 500,000 and 2,000,000 Mexican-Americans, up to 60 percent of whom may have been native born American citizens. Hoover's policy on this matter meets the modern definition of ethnic cleansing, and is largely thought to have made the Depression worse. He lost the 1932 election in a landslide--the swing from his winning landslide in 1928 to his defeat in 1932 is the largest percentage swing in U.S. history.
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Author of Thy King Dumb Come and Accountability Citizenship, Stephen P. Tryon is a businessman and technologist with extensive experience in e-commerce, a retired Soldier, and former Senate Fellow.