Tidbit

In his review of the new biography of Herbert Hoover — the latest title in the American Presidents Series put ou by Times Books — David Greenberg offers this bonbon of historic detail:

In 1932, the parents of a 4-year-old went to court to change his legal name. Christened Herbert Hoover Jones in 1928, when the commerce secretary and Republican presidential nominee was a national hero, the boy deserved relief, said his parents, from “the chagrin and mortification which he is suffering and will suffer” for sharing a moniker with the now-disgraced chief executive. His new name: Franklin D. Roosevelt Jones.

The idea of a series of short, concise biographies of American presidents is a great idea, but the Times Books series has been spotty. I got a lot out of Greenburg’s bio of Calvin Coolidge, so this review sent me hurrying to order a copy of William Leuchtenburg’s Hoover study.

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