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National History Day Topics 2011-12
Challenge to Liberty -- Reaction to the New Deal

After losing the presidential election in 1932 to Franklin Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover went into exile in the political wilderness, far from the public eye.  From this vantage, Hoover watched the development of the New Deal.  Hoover saw the New Deal’s disregard for a balanced budget, abandoning of the gold standard, and increasingly powerful federal bureaucracy as serious threats to America’s heritage of liberty.  Hoover made a series of speeches attacking the New Deal, explaining the threat to American individualism that it presented.  In 1934 he wrote the book, The Challenge to Liberty, to present his reaction to the New Deal.

Hoover Library primary sources:
Hoover Special Collections: Addresses, articles and speeches, 1932-1936 [boxes 14-15]
Hoover Post-Presidential Papers—Books Challenge to Liberty [boxes 30-37]

Online primary sources:
Hoover, Herbert, Addresses upon the American Road, 1933-1938, New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1938 http://www.ecommcode.com/hoover/ebooks/displayPage.cfm?BookID=B3&VolumeID=B3V1
Brief summary of main lines of Hoover’s points at http://www.hooverassociation.org/hoover/speeches/challenge_to_liberty.php
Hoover, Herbert, ‘Challenge to Liberty’ Saturday Evening Post, September 8, 1934, reprised at: http://www.restoreliberty.com/CTL9-8-1934.htm

Secondary sources:
Kennedy, David, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945, New York, Oxford University Press, 1999
McElvaine, Robert, The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941, New York, Times Books, 1983

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Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
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