"TO MY GOOD FRIENDS… FROM HERBERT HOOVER": FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST VOLUME IN HOOVER'S AMERICAN EPIC, INSCRIBED BY HIM
HOOVER, Herbert. An American Epic. Introduction. The Relief of Belgium and Northern France 1914-1930. Volume I. Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1959. Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. $1500.
First edition of the first volume in President Hoover's multi-volume history of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, the world's first international relief agency, warmly inscribed by him, "To my good friends, Francis and Clark Stillman from Herbert Hoover."
"Hoover's philanthropic and government work during the First World War confirmed his progressive beliefs and brought him wide public notice at home and abroad. Serving as head of the Commission for the Relief in Belgium (CRB), as President Wilson's U.S. Food Administrator (1917-19) in charge of voluntary rationing, and director general of the American Relief Administration in Europe (1919-20) made him such a popular figure that both parties courted him as a presidential nominee in 1920. Refusing to run for the presidency, Hoover served as secretary of commerce in the administrations of Presidents Harding and Coolidge, transforming that department between 1921 and 1928 into one of the most important and well-publicized federal departments. As commerce secretary he encouraged and helped to develop some of the most advanced economic theories about business cycles and industrial standardization, promoted government regulation of the nascent radio and aviation industries, and supported federal supervision of foreign loans" (ANB). The recipients, E. Clark Stillman and his wife Francis Jennings Stillman, were dedicated philanthropists, bibliophiles and art collectors. Clark Stillman, a brilliant linguist, also served as a president of the same Belgian American Education Foundation (BAEF) that was the offspring of the Committee for Relief in Belgium (CRB), which Hoover organized and headed in WWI—and is the subject of this volume. Hoover was also the first president of the BAEF (1920-1932), and Stillman began serving on the BAEF as its secretary in 1947 before becoming its president in 1962.
Book fine; slight edge-wear, minor chipping to extremely good dust jacket.