Colonel Roosevelt: Theodore Roosevelt Goes to War, 1897-1898

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His celebrated charge up San Juan Hill made him an American icon - a roughshod, take-charge leader in the glorious service of his young and ambitious nation. For Theodore Roosevelt, it was a defining moment, the scene with which he would become most often associated. And, as H. Paul Jeffers shows in this lively new account, the now-legendary episode not only made the future president's political career, it took center stage in a "splendid little war" that Roosevelt himself orchestrated almost single-handedly. ...
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Overview

His celebrated charge up San Juan Hill made him an American icon - a roughshod, take-charge leader in the glorious service of his young and ambitious nation. For Theodore Roosevelt, it was a defining moment, the scene with which he would become most often associated. And, as H. Paul Jeffers shows in this lively new account, the now-legendary episode not only made the future president's political career, it took center stage in a "splendid little war" that Roosevelt himself orchestrated almost single-handedly. Colonel Roosevelt is an exciting and thoroughly captivating portrait of a man and a country at a crossroads. The Spanish-American War of 1897-1898 was the shortest conflict in American history. Yet it played a pivotal role in propelling the United States onto the twentieth-century world stage - along with the man whose nationalistic and military ideals were most responsible for bringing it about. With his keen eye for characterization and rich period detail, Jeffers captures the spirit of a newly industrialized nation with dreams of the spoils of empire hitherto reserved for her European rivals, a country flexing her newfound muscles. No man more clearly exemplified late nineteenth-century notions of manifest destiny than Theodore Roosevelt. And no man was more willing to wage war to fulfill them. As Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt dreamed of a massive two-ocean navy capable of exerting American influence around the world. Going to war against an aging Spain, with Cuba as the prize, seemed the perfect way to make his dream come true. The events and colorful personalities of this crucial period come to vivid life in Colonel Roosevelt, from William Randolph Hearst and Henry Cabot Lodge, to Richard Harding Davis and Stephen Crane. Here, too, is the personal side of Theodore Roosevelt, much of it revealed in his own words. It is a candid glimpse of the blunt man behind the historic figure, relishing the swirl of international tensions he so vigorous
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The man who likened himself to a "bull moose," says Jeffers in this sturdy second installment (after Commissioner Roosevelt, 1994) of his multivolume popular biography of the 26th president, intended to be elected chief executive in 1904. As it happened, the assassination of William McKinley carried Roosevelt into the White House in 1901. But if Roosevelt's schedule was off, Jeffers convincingly explains, his aim wasn't. Roosevelt emerged from the Spanish-American War with the White House right in his sights. Jeffers is most effective in describing Roosevelt's role in organizing and leading the Rough Riders, but he exaggerates his subject's role in the origin of the war that made this cavalry division famous. Relying heavily on Roosevelt's own accounts, he misses the fact that, as Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt was widely regarded in the McKinley administration as a loose cannon, respected for his energy but not for his ideas. Still, this is a handsome narrative of a crucial period in the career of one of our country's most colorful politicians. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Teddy Roosevelt recalled, "San Juan was the great day of my life." Four months after he led the charge up Kettle Hill and San Juan Heights, he was governor of New York; three years later he was president. This story has been told by others, including Roosevelt himself (in The Rough Riders, 1900). Basing his work largely on published sources, Jeffers (The Story of Theodore Roosevelt and the New York City Police, LJ 9/1/94) recounts Roosevelt's brief tenure as assistant secretary of the navy and his role in preparing for and participating in the Spanish American War. Here we read of Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt's recruitment of the loose aggregation of cowboys, Native Americans, Ivy League athletes, and Roosevelt enthusiasts-the Rough Riders-that became the best-known regiment of the war. TR, always alert to the importance of appearance, ordered his uniform from Brooks Brothers. Even so, neither he nor his men were simple dandies. The Rough Riders suffered the heaviest casualties of any regiment-89 out of 490-and Roosevelt was recommended for a Congressional Medal of Honor. A very readable account; for informed readers and scholars.-Nicholas Burckel, Marquette Univ. Libs., Milwaukee
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471126782
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/8/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 301
  • Product dimensions: 6.43 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Partial table of contents:
BY JINGO.
"Theodore Is Too Pugnacious".
Too Little Instead of Too Much.
Beauty and Majesty.
THE NOBLE ELK.
The Wolfhound.
The Limelight.
NO PLACE FOR MERCY.
A Gem of an Island.
Writers and Artists.
A Waste of Time.
A NAME TO REMEMBER.
Red Glare, Black Water.
Bent on Peace.
Bitter Wrath.
COWBOY CAVALRY.
Roosevelt's Room.
Rank and File.
On the Move.
THREE O'CLOCK COURAGE.
A Squalid Little Village.
Full of Beans.
A View from a Hill.
Biff Bang.
The Crowded Hour.
CRACKERJACKS.
Triumph Tasted.
Clear Skirts.
A Great Time.
Epilogue: Children of the Dragon's Blood.
Sources.
Bibliography.
Index.
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