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Book Reviews131 years of service on the federal Board of Indian Commissioners made him the most influential public Friend since William Penn. Written by Clyde Milner II (whose book on Quaker Indian work under Grant's "Peace Policy, " With Good Intentions, was reviewed in Quaker History in the Fall, 1983, number), the discussion of Smiley's contribution to Indian concerns raises serious questions about Quaker work in the 1800s and early 1900s. Smiley advocated Indian assimilation through Christian education and the breakup of reservations. The extremely influential Indian conferences he organized and underwrote financially seldom included Indian participants and were quite evangelical in tone. Milner comments that Smiley is representative of a Quakerism in the late 1800s that had emerged as defenders of middle-class Protestant values by having become a distinctive people within the mainstream of Protestant society. The book's contributors, all scholars of Indian-white relations, have written a very valuable book for those who are not only interested in historical details and fascinating biography but also in guidance for how the Church might best respond to the needs ofpeople from other cultures and religions. The model that emerges from this book is that represented by the Presbyterian Cyrus Byington and the Jesuit Joseph M. Cataldo who through decades of service among several tribes developed skill in the native language and displayed respect for native culture and spirituality. Not accidentally theirs were the most "successful" missions. Friends' Central School, PhiladelphiaMax. L. Carter The Life ofHerbert Hoover: The Engineer, 1874-1914. By George H. Nash. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Co., 1983. xii, 768 pp. $25.00. As George Nash notes in his introduction Herbert Hoover has always been an enigmatic figure in American history. Nash's massive work (this is the first of a projected three or four volumes) is intended to solve the enigma and provide a definitive biography of our thirty-first President. Herbert Hoover was a birthright member of the Society of Friends. His parents were active members of the Quaker community of West Branch, Iowa. His mother, Huida Minthorn Hoover, was a recorded minister and traveled widely in Iowa and the midwest speaking to Friends groups as part of the evangelistic revival that swept—and divided—Iowa Quakers in the 1870s and 188Os. In what Nash sees as the definitive event of Hoover's early life the boy was orphaned at the age of nine. Less than two years later Hoover and his elder brother were sent by train to Oregon to be raised by an uncle. Hoover attended Stanford University, trained to be a mining engineer, and set forth almost penniless into the world at the age of21 . Twenty years later he was a wealthy man, a successful mining engineer and manager and investor in mining properties. Nash describes these forty years ofHoover's life as a private citizen in 576 pages. Yet only 41 pages are devoted to the first 21 years ofHoover's life, the period when, presumably, his basic character and attitudes were formed. Since Nash's research is exhaustive the reasons for this must lie elsewhere. To a limited extent it is because the persons Hoover grew up with are all dead, leaving no one for the historian to interview. But primarily it is due to the essential nature of Herbert Hoover himself. He was a very private person indeed and wrote or spoke about himself and his private life virtually not at all. How did he feel about being left an orphan? About being shipped off to Oregon at a tender age? About his Quaker relatives and the Society of Friends in general? The sad truth is that even after Nash's extensive research we really do not know much about these or other crucial topics ofHoover's early life. What we do know is that somewhere (Nash feels that it was the experience of 132Quaker History being left an impoverished orphan) Hoover picked up a strong dose of the Protestant work ethic. He wanted to be a success and he was willing to work remarkably hard to be one. In Australia, in China, in England, indeed around the world he traveled constantly developing and overseeing mining...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 131-132
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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