Customer Reviews for

Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt

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  • Posted November 24, 2008

    Worst Biography Ever Written

    If you really want to know about Theodore Roosevelt, you can find more information about him online at Wikopedcia. I wondered how a biography of 269 pages could adequately capture the life of Teddy Roosevelt. Now I know - it can't. The book ends by telling the reader that TR just got out of the hospital after a long illness. But, you, the reader, had no idea he was sick in the first place, and in any case never find out what he had and finally died from. This is typical of the entire book. I am ashamed of myself for having bought it. Had I purchased it directly from the author I would be howling for my money back. Lawrence Fox PhD

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011


    While I enjoy reading biographies on US presidents, this one had me closing and tossing in the trash a few pages into the introduction. Ms Donald's political advertisement that - "Roosevelt was the only progressive president in the history of the Republican Party. In fact, Roosevelt's presidency was one of the great forward, or progressive, eras in the nation's history as a whole...No Republican president since has embraced the idea or creating, through active government, the greatest good for the greatest number of people" and "his influence was short lived, as the organization quickly fell back onto its usual track of conservatism and small visions. Never since has the Republican Party put forward such imaginative and responsive domestic policy initiatives". I was hoping for an interesting and accurate read on TR, not political indoctrination. If I have to question her objectivity the book is not worth reading. Can anybody recommend a good bio on TR?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2013

    I would recommend this book.

    While it is not an "in depth" biography of T.R., it does a very good job of covering the high points of his life and his contributions. Too, it is eminently readable and not the dull tome some biographies become. We liked it.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Beginning Biography of "Bully" Teddy!

    If you are looking for something comprehensive, and don't mind a 600, 700, 800 page read, then do go to the volumes written by David McCullough about Teddy Roosevelt's early years, or Pringle's Pulitzer Prize winning work, or even any of the Morris volumes.

    But for something a bit more simpler, an introduction if you like, this is one fine volume, written by the widow of acclaimed Lincoln Historian, the late David Donald. Aida Donald does not spare the criticism. For example she cites how Teddy, in a pique of anger over the breakup with his first love and future (second) wife, Edith, shot a poor dog. Never knew that, and must admit it has lessen my respect for the man. She also points out he was wishy-washy on the subject of Racism, boldly inviting Booker T. Washington to the White House, then in the face of criticism from the South never inviting him there after, though he did continue to accept advice from the great Afro-American leader. The book is very much like Pringle's - very critical, a warts and all work.

    But she also cites his Cowboy years, his Heroism on the Battlefield (surprisingly she did not take the tone of James Bradley or Evan Thomas in making TR out to be a bloodthirsty, war-loving jingoist), his superb accomplishments as President (we'd certainly be much better off with him in the White House now than the current, incompetent occupant), and the disappointments of his last years - including his losing confrontations with a Racist, Cowardly, Two-bit Nothing (like the current White House occupant) named Wilson.

    Maybe not what the Ph.D guy liked - or some of the others, but again, this is a warts-and-all introduction to a great American leader, and a book that hopefully if disappointing will encourage the reader to seek out the other words on TR's full life.

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  • Posted January 2, 2011

    Short, sympathetic, simple biography for the casual historian

    Roosevelt was a prolific writer. Historians tend to have ready access to quantities of documents. Also consider that he led an active life with a variety of interests, and acted to profoundly impact those interests. In short, biographies of TDR tend to be lengthy. This book is one of a short, or moderate length. The author lends a sympathetic portrayal of her subject, and the book is an easy, non-tedious read. If you're looking for a more probing exploration of the subject, look elsewhere.

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  • Posted February 17, 2009

    school project

    I enjoy this book it¿s extremely detailed. The vocabulary is highly advanced and sometimes hard to understand. It has a very up beat tone always looking toward the future and things to come. You could call it optimistic. ¿He starts out with many health problems, during his teenage years he began to over come theses obstacles. He started working out and getting buff. His health problems were gone by the age of 21. His political career had many obstacles as well.¿ It is a biography. Theo is an jubilant well rounded person. He was the type of, grab the bull by the horns person. He loved the outdoors. He was a man¿s man in a man¿s world.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2009

    great for a school project

    this book peaks intrest and makes you think. its quite detailed and very provocative. i throughly enjoyed it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2008

    Some parts were hard to follow

    I was interested in this book before it came out and was thinking it would be a great read. I wasn't really satisfied. The book is a quick summary of T.R.'s life. In some parts, such as when he took on the business giants, I got lost in the reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2008

    Provocative Intro...

    Aida D. Donald's survey of T.R.'s time in the White House should be enough to make many readers dig deeper into the life of one of America's most illustrious presidents. She covers some of the most interesting and controversial actions or opinions in Roosevelt's life with a sentence or two. His intervention in Morocco, his stance against hyphenated Americans (German-Americans, Irish-Americans, etc.)the attempt against his life in 1912, all are left for the curious reader to pursue on their own time. Yet the author has produced an enjoyable primer on this American icon, an introduction worthy of the inquiring reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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