Customer Reviews for

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

43 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

The Bully Pulpit is a remarkable book. It is a long book, but in

The Bully Pulpit is a remarkable book. It is a long book, but interesting throughout. It focusses on the friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Based on hundreds of letters back and forth between the two we learn not only about their friendship (...
The Bully Pulpit is a remarkable book. It is a long book, but interesting throughout. It focusses on the friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Based on hundreds of letters back and forth between the two we learn not only about their friendship (even when it breaks down in a brutal feud) but the state of the country over the years. I definitely recommend it.

posted by JustinCarrigan on November 7, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

13 out of 152 people found this review helpful.

I was going to buy this book but, after examining it at a Barn

I was going to buy this book but, after examining it at a Barnes & Noble bookstore, I decided to pas. It is VERY heavy, making it impractical to read from either a sitting or lying-down position. I suppose you could read it by laying it on a desk and turning the p...
I was going to buy this book but, after examining it at a Barnes & Noble bookstore, I decided to pas. It is VERY heavy, making it impractical to read from either a sitting or lying-down position. I suppose you could read it by laying it on a desk and turning the pages but this is not how I like to read (personal preference). This book is best suited to a nook, which I don't have.

posted by zorbot on November 7, 2013

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  • Posted November 7, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    The Bully Pulpit is a remarkable book. It is a long book, but in

    The Bully Pulpit is a remarkable book. It is a long book, but interesting throughout. It focusses on the friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Based on hundreds of letters back and forth between the two we learn not only about their friendship (even when it breaks down in a brutal feud) but the state of the country over the years. I definitely recommend it.

    43 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2013

    I am 200+ pages into this book--on my, dare I say it? Kindle-- a

    I am 200+ pages into this book--on my, dare I say it? Kindle-- and it is just great.
    Goodwin's engaging narrative style maintains the reader's interest throughout.
    While telling the history of TR and Taft's relationship, she also informs about 
    their spouses and the journalists of influence during this fascinating era.
    A wonderful winter read; glad to have 700 more pages ahead of me:)

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    The Bully Pulpit is a remarkable account of the relationship (fr

    The Bully Pulpit is a remarkable account of the relationship (friendly and not so friendly) between Teddy Roosevelt and Taft. The writing is good. The research is remarkable. All in all it is a very educational book about two of our nation’s most famous presidents. Doris Kearns Goodwin is a very good author.

    16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2013

    I was going to buy this book but, after examining it at a Barn

    I was going to buy this book but, after examining it at a Barnes & Noble bookstore, I decided to pas. It is VERY heavy, making it impractical to read from either a sitting or lying-down position. I suppose you could read it by laying it on a desk and turning the pages but this is not how I like to read (personal preference). This book is best suited to a nook, which I don't have.

    13 out of 152 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    fascinating look into an important era in US history

    Goodwin knows how to tell a story that makes the characters vibrant and dynamic. I especially enjoyed learning more about William Howard Taft, an often overlooked President. My feelings about Teddy Roosevelt were challenged to look beyond his Rough Rider image and see him an a much more dimensional character in our nations's history.
    Retired (but not tired) Teacher

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    As usual with Goodwin, she tells a compelling story using as man

    As usual with Goodwin, she tells a compelling story using as many resources as possible. She quotes extensively from newspapers and magazines of the time, and uses extensive letters in place of dialogue. While much of the Roosevelt information is not totally new, her framework of using the contrasts with Taft makes for a compelling read. Yes, I know what happens, but no, I don't know how Mr. Taft felt about it. The need for a volume like this is great as no current biography of Taft is available. While Brands and others have extensively written about TR, putting him in the context of the muck-raking journalists (each an interesting character on their own), Kearns gives us a much more complete picture of the times and the ways of the country. Was Taft a great President? He will always be in the shadow of TR, but his life before and after being President shows a much more interesting character and man than most history text shows us. This book is highly recommended.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Extraordinary

    The Bully Pulpit is an extraordinary blend if outstanding scholarly inquiry an intricarely wiven narrative and a power to enhance understandings of political personalitieses and motivations - we can learn much from this work, hopefully we will!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Exquisitely engaging and poignantly befitting the current Socio-

    Exquisitely engaging and poignantly befitting the current Socio-Political climate. Those who have not yet experienced the pleasure of immersing oneself in one of Doris Kearns Goodwins tomes is about to be thrilled. Sure, the volume is lengthy, by virtue of the weighty issues that enveloped our nation at the turn of the 20th century. However, Ms. Kearns Goodwin infuses each and every paragraph with the excitement, enthusiasm and benefit of her great literary muscle. Having previously been enthralled by her earlier work on LBJ, I look forward to a gripping experience that will surely draw the reader into the turmoil of the 20th century and it will become apparent that this book is prescient of the current socio-political climate we endure in these 'modern' times. Kearns Goodwins' words jump off of the page as if you and she were personally engaged in conversation. I am personally no match for Doris Kearns Goodwin's literary talent to be writing this review, but, make no mistake, it will be hard to put this book down from page 1 - Hawkins_Duffield

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Highly recommended for history buffs

    This is a well researched and engagingly written overview of the social, political, and economic conditions in late 19th and early 20th century America. The book's focus on the personal lives and relationships of and between Taft and T.Roosevelt facilitate the telling of the development of foundational events and issues of the Progressive movement within the conservative Republican party of that era. These are the issues with which we are dealing in the first two decades of the 21st century and they will follow us into the mid-21st century. Knowing where and why Progressive politics developed and who were the major players is helping me understand our current political and economic condition.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Doris Kearns Goodwin has written another gem. I have read No Ordinary Time, Team of Rivals and Bully Pulpit. Ms Kearns-Goodwin writes in a clear concise manner, making historical figures come alive. Once you start a book, you can't put it down because it is so interesting. In my opinion, everyone should read her books and they defiitely should be mandatory reading in high history classes.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2013

    The Bully Pulpit

    This is a well written and thoughtful book. I am enjoying reading it.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    K

    Ikkeeedowedsik



    2 out of 80 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2014

    Amazingly readable!!!!

    Within a few paragraphs of the beginning, I realized why Doris Kearns Goodwin had won the Pulitzer Prize. Her writing in incredibly approachable. Unlike many writers of history, she seldom uses big words, unless they come from a quote by someone...or are absolutely necessary to tell the reader what she needs to convey.

    If you've ever watched a PBS Ken Burns documentary where she is frequently included, her books read the way she talks. Delightful!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2014

    History repeats itself!!! Massive wealth gap between rich and

    History repeats itself!!! Massive wealth gap between rich and poor, a do nothing Congress bought & paid for by special interests, a Supreme Court that does whatever it can to look out for corporate interests. Fast forward to today and the ONLY difference is that they had a true LEADER as president who could manage Congress to get what was needed to help the "little people." Today....not so much. Great read, keeps your interest in spite of the length of the book. Fascinating biographical info on two very different men and their families.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2014

    absolutely a great read

    I am still reading this book and I am enjoying it very much. It is so well written. Although I've seen and heard Doris Kearns Goodwin, I've never read anything by her.... I am officially a fan. Most exciting is that in the late 1800's, early 1900's people corresponded by letters and they wrote a lot of letters to family and friends. As Ms. Goodwin tells the story, she uses the words actually written by these men to their fathers, wives, friends etc. You get to really know their relationships and how these relationships affected each of them both in their private and public lives. A great, great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2015

    I would so far give it a 4 and 1/2. I have read two other books

    I would so far give it a 4 and 1/2. I have read two other books by MS> GOODWIN and have found them all to be excellent . It is a long book and I haven't finished it. I usually do this type of reading during travel
    so I guess the best is
    yet to come

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2015

    Delivered on time

    This book was a Christmas gift to my son, so I have not read it. It was delivered in time for Christmas and in good shape. Thank you!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2014

    Great book!  Great read.  Long, but it is not too long.  In fact

    Great book!  Great read.  Long, but it is not too long.  In fact, she could have gone into greater detail about McClure and his publication -- I wish she had.  She is very good at identifying and reporting on the interaction between people in history.  I recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2014

    Plagiarist before and now? 

    Plagiarist before and now? 

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2014

    OMG this is a long book!!!

    While the material covered here is interesting to a point, Ms. Goodwin drags this on and on needlessly!! The first 400 or so pages seemed to deal more with the journalism of the day and in particular McClure's magazine, Ida Tarbell, Ray Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and Wm. Allen White than it did with either Roosevelt or Taft. I understand that understanding the society of the times is essential to explaining what motivated Roosevelt and to a lesser extent, Taft, to do the things they did and take the positions they did, but this went on forever!!
    Interestingly, I felt that, by the end, I'd gained a pretty good understanding of Roosevelt, but less so for Taft. I also believe that the rift that developed between the two men was mishandled and looked at mostly from Roosevelt's side.
    Finally, I don't think there was enough emphasis on the legacy these two presidents left behind and how their agenda's and accomplishments affect society today!
    Overall, I learned a lot from this book, but I thought there was a lot more that wasn't covered or a lot that was minimized.

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