"My association with him was such that I formed convictions as to his philosophy of life, his character and his abilities which have deepened during these four decades. My approval of him is based solely on my own experiences with him and my knowledge of the forces with which he had to deal. ...
"His philosophy of American living was based upon free enterprise, both in social and in economic systems. He held that economic system must be regulated to prevent monopoly and unfair practices. He believed that federal intervention in the economic or social life of our people was justified only when the task was greater than the states or individual could perform for themselves. ...
"Coming from an academic ivory tower with only a brief political career, he at times stumbled badly in the thicket of politics, ... but ... with his courage and eloquence, he carried a message of hope for the independence of nations, the freedom of men and lasting peace. Never since his time has any man risen to the political and spiritual heights that came to him. His proclaimed principles of self-government and independence aided the spread of freedom to twenty-two races at the time of the Armistice."
Herbert Hoover, The Ordeal of Woodrow Wilson, 1958
Sometimes we forget that terms - such as liberal that we cast about flippantly today - carried a different meaning to those who used the words just a half century ago. I believe from all I have read, including Woodrow Wilson's The New Freedom [link to review], I would have enjoyed knowing this man.
Peter E. Greulich
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Peter E. Greulich
Pete has been studying IBM and early American corporate history since his retirement in 2011. These are his thoughts and musings, and of those whose biographies he has read with links to articles and book reviews on this website.