The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

( 159 )

Overview

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

Thirty years ago, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. A collector?s item in its original edition, it has never been out of print as a paperback. This classic book is now reissued in hardcover, along with Theodore Rex, to coincide with the publication of Colonel Roosevelt, the third and concluding volume of ...

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Overview

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

Thirty years ago, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. A collector’s item in its original edition, it has never been out of print as a paperback. This classic book is now reissued in hardcover, along with Theodore Rex, to coincide with the publication of Colonel Roosevelt, the third and concluding volume of Edmund Morris’s definitive trilogy on the life of the twenty-sixth President.

Although Theodore Rex fully recounts TR’s years in the White House (1901–1909), The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt begins with a brilliant Prologue describing the President at the apex of his international prestige. That was on New Year’s Day, 1907, when TR, who had just won the Nobel Peace Prize, threw open the doors of the White House to the American people and shook 8,150 hands, more than any man before him. Morris re-creates the reception with such authentic detail that the reader gets almost as vivid an impression of TR as those who attended. One visitor remarked afterward, “You go to the White House, you shake hands with Roosevelt and hear him talk—and then you go home to wring the personality out of your clothes.”

The rest of this book tells the story of TR’s irresistible rise to power. (He himself compared his trajectory to that of a rocket.) It is, in effect, the biography of seven men—a naturalist, a writer, a lover, a hunter, a ranchman, a soldier, and a politician—who merged at age forty-two to become the youngest President in our history. Rarely has any public figure exercised such a charismatic hold on the popular imagination. Edith Wharton likened TR’s vitality to radium. H. G. Wells said that he was  “a very symbol of the creative will in man.” Walter Lippmann characterized him simply as our only “lovable” chief executive.

During the years 1858–1901, Theodore Roosevelt, the son of a wealthy Yankee father and a plantation-bred southern belle, transformed himself from a frail, asthmatic boy into a full-blooded man. Fresh out of Harvard, he simultaneously published a distinguished work of naval history and became the fist-swinging leader of a Republican insurgency in the New York State Assembly. He had a youthful romance as lyrical—and tragic—as any in Victorian fiction. He chased thieves across the Badlands of North Dakota with a copy of Anna Karenina in one hand and a Winchester rifle in the other. Married to his childhood sweetheart in 1886, he became the country squire of Sagamore Hill on Long Island, a flamboyant civil service reformer in Washington, D.C., and a night-stalking police commissioner in New York City. As assistant secretary of the navy under President McKinley, he almost single-handedly brought about the Spanish-American War. After leading “Roosevelt’s Rough Riders” in the famous charge up San Juan Hill, Cuba, he returned home a military hero, and was rewarded with the governorship of New York. In what he called his “spare hours” he fathered six children and wrote fourteen books. By 1901, the man Senator Mark Hanna called “that damned cowboy” was vice president of the United States. Seven months later, an assassin’s bullet gave TR the national leadership he had always craved.

His is a story so prodigal in its variety, so surprising in its turns of fate, that previous biographers have treated it as a series of haphazard episodes. This book, the only full study of TR’s pre-presidential years, shows that he was an inevitable chief executive, and recognized as such in his early teens. His apparently random adventures were precipitated and linked by various aspects of his character, not least an overwhelming will. “It was as if he were subconsciously aware that he was a man of many selves,” the author writes, “and set about developing each one in turn, knowing that one day he would be President of all the people.”
 
 

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Thirty years ago, this magisterial biography became a bestseller and won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The first of Edmund Morris' three Theodore Roosevelt bios covers the Rough Rider president's life from his 1858 birth to his November 1901 election as president. Now recognized as a classic, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt reveals its subject as a man shaped by great events and torn by personal tragedies (his first wife and mother died on the same day.) Definitely worth recommending.

Charles McGrath
....It is a sweeping narrative of the outward man and a shrewd examination of his character.
The New York Times Books of the Century
From the Publisher
Praise for The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
 
“Magnificent . . . one of those rare works that is both definitive for the period it covers and fascinating to read for sheer entertainment.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“A towering biography . . . a brilliant chronicle.”—Time
 
“Theodore Roosevelt, in this meticulously researched and beautifully written biography, has a claim on being the most interesting man ever to be President of this country.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
“Spectacles glittering, teeth and temper flashing, high-pitched voice rasping and crackling, Roosevelt surges out of these pages with the force of a physical presence.”—The Atlantic Monthly
 
“[Morris’s] prose is elegant and at the same time hard and lucid, and his sense of narrative flow is nearly flawless. . . . The author re-creates a sense of the scene and an immediacy of the situation that any skilled writer should envy and the most jaded reader should find a joy.”—The Miami Herald
 
“A monumental work in every sense of the word . . . a book of pulsating and well-written narrative.”—The Christian Science Monitor
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400069651
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/23/2010
  • Pages: 960
  • Sales rank: 190,729
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 11.70 (h) x 1.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Edmund Morris was born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1940. He was schooled there, and studied music, history, and literature at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. After leaving Africa at the age of twenty-four, he worked for six years as an advertising copywriter in London and New York. He became a full-time writer in 1972. His first book, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, began life as a screenplay. It was published in 1979 and won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. In 1985, Morris was appointed the official biographer of President Ronald Reagan. The resultant work, Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan (1999), was and remains controversial because of its revolutionary narrative technique. Theodore Rex (2001), the second volume of Morris’s Roosevelt trilogy, won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for biography. Before completing his trilogy with Colonel Roosevelt, Morris published a short life of Beethoven. He lives in New York and Kent, Connecticut, with his wife and fellow biographer, Sylvia Jukes Morris.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
The Very Small Person


Then King Olaf entered,
Beautiful as morning,
Like the sun at Easter
Shone his happy face.

On the late afternoon of 27 October 1858, a flurry of activity disturbed the genteel quietness of East Twentieth Street, New York City. Liveried servants flew out of the basement of No. 28, the Roosevelt brownstone, and hurried off in search of doctors, midwives, and stray members of the family-a difficult task, for it was now the fashionable visiting hour. Meanwhile Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt lay tossing in her satinwood bed, awaiting the arrival of her second child and first son.

Gaslight was flaring on the cobbles by the time a doctor arrived. The child was born at a quarter to eight, emerging so easily that neither chloroform nor instruments were needed. “Consequently,” reported his grandmother, “the dear little thing has no cuts nor bruises about it.” Theodore Roosevelt, Junior, was “as sweet and pretty a young baby as I have ever seen.”

Mittie Roosevelt, inspecting her son the following morning, disagreed. She said, with Southern frankness, that he looked like a terrapin.

Apart from these two contradictory images, there are no further visual descriptions of the newborn baby. He weighed eight and a half pounds, and was more than usually noisy. When he reappears in the family chronicles ten months later, he has acquired a milk-crust and a nickname, “Teedie.” At eighteen months the milk-crust has gone, but the nickname has not. He is now “almost a little beauty.”

Scattered references in other letters indicate a bright, hyperactive infant. Yet already the first of a succession of congenital ailments was beginning to weaken him. Asthma crowded his lungs, depriving him of sleep. “One of my memories,” the ex-President wrote in his Autobiography, “is of my father walking up and down the room with me in his arms at night when I was a very small person, and of sitting up in bed gasping, with my father and mother trying to help me.” Even more nightmarish was the recollection of those same strong arms holding him, as the Roosevelt rig sped through darkened city streets, forcing a rush of air into the tiny lungs.

Theodore Roosevelt, Senior, was no stranger to childhood suffering. Gifted himself with magnificent health and strength-“I never seem to get tired”-he overflowed with sympathy for the small, the weak, the lame, and the poor. Even in that age when a certain amount of charitable work was expected of well-born citizens, he was remarkable for his passionate efforts on behalf of the waifs of New York. He had what he called “a troublesome conscience.”

Every seventh day of his life was dedicated to teaching in mission schools, distributing tracts, and interviewing wayward children. Long after dark he would come home after dinner at some such institution as the Newsboys’ Lodging-House, or Mrs. Sattery’s Night School for Little Italians. One of his prime concerns, as a founder of the Children’s Aid Society, was to send street urchins to work on farms in the West. His charity extended as far as sick kittens, which could be seen peeking from his pockets as he drove down Broadway.

At the time of Teedie’s birth, Theodore Senior was twenty-seven years old, a partner in the old importing firm of Roosevelt and Son, and already one of the most influential men in New York. Handsome, wealthy, and gregarious, he was at ease with millionaires and paupers, never showing a trace of snobbery, real or inverse, in his relations with either class. “I can see him now,” remembered a society matron years later, “in full evening dress, serving a most generous supper to his newsboys in the Lodging-House, and later dashing off to an evening party on Fifth Avenue.”

A photograph taken in 1862 shows deep eyes, leonine features, a glossy beard, and big, sloping shoulders. “He was a large, broad, bright, cheerful man,” said his nephew Emlen Roosevelt, “. . . deep through, with a sense of abundant strength and power.” The word “power” runs like a leitmotif through other descriptions of Theodore Senior: he was a person of inexorable drive. “A certain expression” on his face, as he strode breezily into the offices of business acquaintances, was enough to flip pocketbooks open. “How much this time, Theodore?”

For all his compulsive philanthropy, he was neither sanctimonious nor ascetic. He took an exuberant, masculine joy in life, riding his horse through Central Park “as though born in the saddle,” exercising with the energy of a teenager, waltzing all night long at society balls. Driving his four-in-hand back home in the small hours of the morning, he rattled through the streets at such a rate that his grooms allegedly “fell out at the corners.”

Such a combination of physical vitality and genuine love of humanity was rare indeed. His son called Theodore Senior “the best man I ever knew,” adding, “. . . but he was the only man of whom I was ever really afraid.”

In all respects except their intense love for each other, Theodore and Martha Roosevelt were striking opposites. Where he was big and disciplined and manly, “Mittie” was small, vague, and feminine to the point of caricature. He was the archetypal Northern burgher, she the Southern belle eternal, a lady about whom there always clung a hint of white columns and wisteria bowers. Born and raised in the luxury of a Georgia plantation, she remained, according to her son, “entirely unreconstructed until the day of her death.”

Of her beauty, especially in her youth (she was twenty-three when Teedie was born), contemporary accounts are unanimous in their praise. Her hair was fine and silky black, with a luster her French hairdresser called noir doré. Her skin was “more moonlight-white than cream-white,” and in her cheeks there glowed a suggestion of coral.14 Every day she took two successive baths, “one for cleaning, one for rinsing,” and she dressed habitually in white muslin, summer and winter. “No dirt,” an admirer marveled, “ever stopped near her.”

On Mittie’s afternoons “at home” she would sit in her pale blue parlor, surrounded always by bunches of violets, while “neat little maids in lilac print gowns” escorted guests into her presence. Invariably they were enchanted. “Such loveliness of line and tinting . . . such sweet courtesy of manner!” gushed Mrs. Burton Harrison, a memoirist of the period. Of five or six gentlewomen whose “birth, breeding, and tact” established them as the flowers of New York society, “Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt seemed to me easily the most beautiful.”

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: New Year's Day, 1907
Pt. 1 1858-1886
1 The Very Small Person 3
2 The Mind, But Not the Body 30
3 The Man with the Morning in His Face 54
4 The Swell in the Dog Cart 80
5 The Political Hack 115
6 The Cyclone Assemblyman 140
7 The Fighting Cock 168
8 The Dude from New York 187
9 The Honorable Gentleman 213
10 The Delegate-at-Large 235
11 The Cowboy of the Present 261
12 The Four-Eyed Maverick 289
13 The Long Arm of the Law 313
14 The Next Mayor of New York 339
Interlude: Winter of the Blue Snow, 1886-1887 363
Pt. 2 1887-1901
15 The Literary Feller 371
16 The Silver-Plated Reform Commissioner 400
17 The Dear Old Beloved Brother 438
18 The Universe Spinner 470
19 The Biggest Man in New York 494
20 The Snake in the Grass 534
21 The Glorious Retreat 563
22 The Hot Weather Secretary 588
23 The Lieutenant Colonel 618
24 The Rough Rider 646
25 The Wolf Rising in the Heart 661
26 The Most Famous Man in America 695
27 The Boy Governor 723
28 The Man of Destiny 747
Epilogue: September 1901 775
Acknowledgments 781
Bibliography 783
Notes 789
Illustrations 891
Index 895
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First Chapter

Chapter 1
The Very Small Person


Then King Olaf entered,
Beautiful as morning,
Like the sun at Easter
Shone his happy face.


On the late afternoon of 27 October 1858, a flurry of activity disturbed the genteel quietness of East Twentieth Street, New York City. Liveried servants flew out of the basement of No. 28, the Roosevelt brownstone, and hurried off in search of doctors, midwives, and stray members of the family-a difficult task, for it was now the fashionable visiting hour. Meanwhile Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt lay tossing in her satinwood bed, awaiting the arrival of her second child and first son.

Gaslight was flaring on the cobbles by the time a doctor arrived. The child was born at a quarter to eight, emerging so easily that neither chloroform nor instruments were needed. “Consequently,” reported his grandmother, “the dear little thing has no cuts nor bruises about it.” Theodore Roosevelt, Junior, was “as sweet and pretty a young baby as I have ever seen.”

Mittie Roosevelt, inspecting her son the following morning, disagreed. She said, with Southern frankness, that he looked like a terrapin.

Apart from these two contradictory images, there are no further visual descriptions of the newborn baby. He weighed eight and a half pounds, and was more than usually noisy. When he reappears in the family chronicles ten months later, he has acquired a milk-crust and a nickname, “Teedie.” At eighteen months the milk-crust has gone, but the nickname has not. He is now “almost a little beauty.”

Scattered references in other letters indicate a bright, hyperactiveinfant. Yet already the first of a succession of congenital ailments was beginning to weaken him. Asthma crowded his lungs, depriving him of sleep. “One of my memories,” the ex-President wrote in his Autobiography, “is of my father walking up and down the room with me in his arms at night when I was a very small person, and of sitting up in bed gasping, with my father and mother trying to help me.” Even more nightmarish was the recollection of those same strong arms holding him, as the Roosevelt rig sped through darkened city streets, forcing a rush of air into the tiny lungs.

Theodore Roosevelt, Senior, was no stranger to childhood suffering. Gifted himself with magnificent health and strength-“I never seem to get tired”-he overflowed with sympathy for the small, the weak, the lame, and the poor. Even in that age when a certain amount of charitable work was expected of well-born citizens, he was remarkable for his passionate efforts on behalf of the waifs of New York. He had what he called “a troublesome conscience.”

Every seventh day of his life was dedicated to teaching in mission schools, distributing tracts, and interviewing wayward children. Long after dark he would come home after dinner at some such institution as the Newsboys’ Lodging-House, or Mrs. Sattery’s Night School for Little Italians. One of his prime concerns, as a founder of the Children’s Aid Society, was to send street urchins to work on farms in the West. His charity extended as far as sick kittens, which could be seen peeking from his pockets as he drove down Broadway.

At the time of Teedie’s birth, Theodore Senior was twenty-seven years old, a partner in the old importing firm of Roosevelt and Son, and already one of the most influential men in New York. Handsome, wealthy, and gregarious, he was at ease with millionaires and paupers, never showing a trace of snobbery, real or inverse, in his relations with either class. “I can see him now,” remembered a society matron years later, “in full evening dress, serving a most generous supper to his newsboys in the Lodging-House, and later dashing off to an evening party on Fifth Avenue.”

A photograph taken in 1862 shows deep eyes, leonine features, a glossy beard, and big, sloping shoulders. “He was a large, broad, bright, cheerful man,” said his nephew Emlen Roosevelt, “. . . deep through, with a sense of abundant strength and power.” The word “power” runs like a leitmotif through other descriptions of Theodore Senior: he was a person of inexorable drive. “A certain expression” on his face, as he strode breezily into the offices of business acquaintances, was enough to flip pocketbooks open. “How much this time, Theodore?”

For all his compulsive philanthropy, he was neither sanctimonious nor ascetic. He took an exuberant, masculine joy in life, riding his horse through Central Park “as though born in the saddle,” exercising with the energy of a teenager, waltzing all night long at society balls. Driving his four-in-hand back home in the small hours of the morning, he rattled through the streets at such a rate that his grooms allegedly “fell out at the corners.”

Such a combination of physical vitality and genuine love of humanity was rare indeed. His son called Theodore Senior “the best man I ever knew,” adding, “. . . but he was the only man of whom I was ever really afraid.”

In all respects except their intense love for each other, Theodore and Martha Roosevelt were striking opposites. Where he was big and disciplined and manly, “Mittie” was small, vague, and feminine to the point of caricature. He was the archetypal Northern burgher, she the Southern belle eternal, a lady about whom there always clung a hint of white columns and wisteria bowers. Born and raised in the luxury of a Georgia plantation, she remained, according to her son, “entirely unreconstructed until the day of her death.”

Of her beauty, especially in her youth (she was twenty-three when Teedie was born), contemporary accounts are unanimous in their praise. Her hair was fine and silky black, with a luster her French hairdresser called noir doré. Her skin was “more moonlight-white than cream-white,” and in her cheeks there glowed a suggestion of coral.14 Every day she took two successive baths, “one for cleaning, one for rinsing,” and she dressed habitually in white muslin, summer and winter. “No dirt,” an admirer marveled, “ever stopped near her.”

On Mittie’s afternoons “at home” she would sit in her pale blue parlor, surrounded always by bunches of violets, while “neat little maids in lilac print gowns” escorted guests into her presence. Invariably they were enchanted. “Such loveliness of line and tinting . . . such sweet courtesy of manner!” gushed Mrs. Burton Harrison, a memoirist of the period. Of five or six gentlewomen whose “birth, breeding, and tact” established them as the flowers of New York society, “Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt seemed to me easily the most beautiful.”

Copyright 2001 by Edmund Morris
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 159 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(93)

4 Star

(38)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 162 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2000

    Best Teddy book ever

    Classic tale of our greatest president. It makes you want to learn more. After reading you feel like you know Theodore himself

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing Bio

    I picked this book up because with everything that is going on in politics these days, I wanted to read about a president that was not scared for standing up for what is right, ending corruption, and embracing the meaning behind Americanism (TR did coin that phrase.) It is also relieving to read about a president that DID go after the corrupt corporations and the lobbyists before Obama took office. Needless to say I was not disappointed. I will admit this book is not for a person that does not live and breathe history. The details can be tiresome at times, but the author made 19th century politics read like a CNN broadcast, meaning there were moments when I could not put the book down, and literally cursed specific people and politicians for their stupidity. One thing I want to mention is this book covers TR's biography from his birth until the assassination of McKinley. The continuation is covered in Morris's Theodore Rex. I wish I would have known that before investing 782 pages in half of the story.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic

    By far the best book I've ever read about TR. It gives you great insight into his mind with brief diary enries and letters. If you want to know more about his character and what shaped him into the man he would become instead of just what he did, this is the book. Yes it's a thick book, however it was so interesting that I read through it quickly. If you love history and TR, this book is a must have.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 16, 2010

    The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt - Great Historic Read!

    Edmund Morris does a great job documenting Teddy Roosevelt's life until he gets to be President. This book reads like a novel and gives you amazing insight into such an energetic, interesting, honest, hard working man that Teddy was.

    Great historical read!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Dee-lightfull!

    after reading "The Rise" one will want to continue reading the other two works by Edmund Morris to complete the narrative about TR, one of our best a and the most fascinating presidents

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Great

    Always inspires me to quit complaining, work hard, expand my knowledge, improve my physical well being, and to live life to its fullest. Better than any self help book I have read. The first of an awe inspiring trilogy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 27, 2011

    a must buy

    a very good book if you like history books.There is also unbelivable facts.i recommend it to teens from 13-18

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 15, 2008

    From Everyman to The Man...

    The back of this book states that it is the story of seven men: a naturalist, a writer, a lover, a hunter, a rancher, a soldier, and a politician. It is amazing to me that one man can be all of those men at one time, but Theodore Roosevelt was. If you read this book, you will be as amazed as I was at the achievements of this man. It is hard to imagine that he could have changed the politics in the city of New York as much as he did. His progressive ideas angered the corrupt, so they nominated him for Vice-President. Little to their dismay that this progressive reformer would find himelf in the Big Chair of the Oval Office with a Big Stick. I admire Roosevelt for all of the accomplishments he made in his illustrious career, as I am sure you will be if you read this book. TR is one of my favorite, no my very favorite president and he will be yours too!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 29, 2006

    Makes want to read more about T.R.

    This was the first book I have ever read on T.R. and it has lead me to read over ten since. I would recommend it to anyone interested in history or biographies.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 5, 2013

    Great read

    Excellent telling of the experiences and events whcih shaped TR during his rise to the Presidency. Morris does a great job of being both informative and eloquent simultaneously.

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

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Incredible & Interesting!

    Gives great insight into how Roosevelt became, no doubt, a very smart president.

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

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Bully Up

    I love seeing TR as a 5 year old. Being sickly. Working with weights. Transforming himself physically. Viewing the Gramercy neighborhood and Union Square Park as a child naturalist. His family. His education. His "all out" attitude developing. North Dakota Badlands rancher. NY Civil Service Commissioner. NY Police Commissioner. Asst Sec'y US Navy. Rough Rider. Governor NY State. Vice President. The transformation and journey are amazing. GREAT book!!! First of the Trilogy!

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

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Highly recommend!

    Morris writes a wonderful story of one of the greatest champions of the common man. Roosevelt was an incredibly enthusiastic and committed individuals and you will learn a great deal about what he had to overcome. Morris packs the book with great stories of the early life of a great President and leader. We all can learn a few lessons of how to live our own lives.

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

    Posted March 18, 2013

    Excellent

    Excellent

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 1, 2013

    Deeeeeeelighted!

    For the most part I prefer books which are quick reads as I dont like to get mired down in one subject for a long period of time and this is the reason that I avoided this book (as well as the other books in the Roosevelt trilogy). However I finally decided to take the necessary time to read this book. I am glad that I did. The book is 90% a page-turner tracing many days in the 1st 40 years of Roosevelt's life telling many interesting stories. However, 10% of the book is a bit obnoxious with the constant usage of French words or phrases which made me have to pause and do some research.

    With that being said, I look forward to reading the rest of the series in the weeks to come.

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

    Posted July 16, 2012

    A Must Read: What our political leaders should aspire to be

    An inspiring story of an amazing American. Well documented facts and timelines make this an enjoyable read.

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

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Fascinating

    A superb telling of the formative years of TR.

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

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Get it !!

    Excellent - more details than I needed. But learned a lot about childhood and ranching experience.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A must read for any TR Fan!

    This first of a three part journey through the life of Theodore Roosevelt was absolutely amazing! Not only was it packed with a multitude of historical information, but it also was a fairly easy read. At not point did I feel as if things were dragging on, and the events were broken up enough so as to constantly keep my attention. Edmund Morris is a fantastic biography writer who has hit a home run with this series!

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  • Posted October 26, 2011

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    Smooth Read, Fascinating History

    When I got the idea in my head that I wanted to read a solid biography about our manliest president, Edmund Morris's name came up immediately. I was not disappointed. The book is well written and exhaustively researched. The prose is smooth and easy to read and as soon as I finished I wanted to pick up the next 800 page volume. I will definitely be reading the entire trilogy... eventually. ;-)

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