Hoover The Fishing President - Wert

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An intensely private and shy man, Hoover the person was largely unknown to the American public. In this extensively researched biography devoted to the angling side of Hoover, author Hal Elliott Wert examines the often overlooked life of our thirty-first president.

In a presidency plagued by the Depression, in a time when the country was poised between the agrarian society of the past and the advent of a modern professional class, Herbert Hoover faced numerous challenges. A thinker and a doer who shaped the way we live today, Hoover found relief from the stresses of his professional life in his pastime, fishing.

Herbert Hoover fished near his hometown of West Branch, Iowa, as a boy and then moved to Oregon, where he fished the Rogue, Willamette, McKenzie, and Columbia rivers. As a young man, he attended Stanford and fished and camped throughout the West during breaks. He fished and spent time in the outdoors throughout his life and especially in his years as president. He founded Cave Man Camp at Bohemian Grove north of San Francisco, a yearly getaway for powerful Republicans, and Camp Rapidan in Virginia while he was in the White House. In addition to freshwater fishing, Hoover enjoyed fishing the salt. On trips to Florida later in his life, he stalked bonefish and fished for permit and the larger species, such as sailfish.
Hal Elliott Wert grew up in Newton, Iowa, where he fished and swam in the surrounding creeks, rivers, lakes, and strip mines. As a Boy Scout, he hiked and camped throughout the state, and in high school, he floated and fished the Skunk River. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and is a professor of American history at the Kansas City Art Institute. He lives in Overland Park, Kansas.