Theodore Rex

Theodore Rex

by Edmund Morris

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Theodore Rex 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 105 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Morris' second book of the trilogy on Theodore Roosevelt (TR) is a most enjoyable read. This book covers TR's White House years and gives great insight into one of Americas greatest presidents and most influential men of the twentieth century. Morris gives you an in depth but not dry look at what TR accomplished in his two terms. He created the Dept. of Interior and protected more land for posterity than any other president. He created the Food and Drug Administration after reading a book written by Sinclair Lewis about the unsanitary conditions in the meat packing industry. He mediated the peace treaty between the Russians and the Japanese after the Russo-Japanese war for which he was the first president to be awarded the Nobel peace prize. He built our Navy from fourth to second place in the world and prepared us for super power status. He was instrumental in our building of the Panama Canal, which made us a two-ocean power. These are just some of the highlights of his busy administration. He wrote over 30 books in his life was fluent in six languages and was an astute politician and statesman. There is much to be learned from reading about this great American, the man who was always in the arena.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Theodore Roosevelt has fast become my hero. A champion for the common man, protector of our true heartland and wilderness, President Theodore Roosevelt's life story is told eloquently by the author. He makes me feel like I knew the former President and want to know more about him. Theodore Roosevelt is one of the truly 'real men' in our Country. The books is fascinating and very tough to put down. Page after page of TR's life jumps alive in the imagination and makes me wonder what life in those days was really like. As for both the author and the subject, I say 'BULLY!'
Guest More than 1 year ago
In his sequel to The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund Morris masterfully helps his (American) readers better understand how and why they still bask in the legacy of President Roosevelt both here and abroad. Roosevelt, who leveraged President Monroe¿s doctrine, turned the United States of America into a superpower on the global scene. The other great powers of that time duly took note of Roosevelt¿s expeditions in the Americas and Asia and his key role in bringing the Russo-Japanese war to an end. On the domestic front, Roosevelt has left an enduring legacy as his contributions to the development of national parks, anti-trust legislation ¿ and the Teddy Bear have revealed. Roosevelt progressively liberated himself from the influence of the Republican Party by pursuing an increasingly progressive legislative agenda to the discontent of some fellow Republicans. To the chagrin of some readers, Morris does not spend too much time discussing Theodore¿s beloved Edith, their children and the rest of his family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you did not like Mr. Morris¿s biography of President Reagan, give Mr. Morris another chance. Theodore Rex is the best book I have read on President Theodore Roosevelt¿s almost 8 years in office, after having started as our youngest president to that point in time. I found the recent David McCullough biography of John Adams as the closest comparable work. Both biographers rely a lot on the subject¿s own words and those of the people he interacted with. I found three qualities of Theodore Rex to be superior to the Adams biography. First, Mr. Morris has chosen to magnify issues that are of more interest to us today which are often virtually ignored in conventional histories. Some of these subjects involved Mr. Roosevelt¿s attitudes towards minority groups including African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Jews. Other related subjects included what he chose to say and do about discrimination and lynchings, willingness to address a pogrom in Russia, and atrocities conduced by the Army in the Philippines. Second, Mr. Morris doesn¿t try to ¿pretty up¿ the ugly sides of his subject. In these first areas above, President Roosevelt did some good things . . . but he also did some pretty awful ones. His support for bad conduct dismissals of African-American troops after complaints in Brownsville, Texas, was particularly questionable, coming at a time when he had little at risk politically by doing the right thing and he was outspoken in other areas. Third, Mr. Morris has an eye for detail that makes the scenes come alive to extend beyond the mere words and events being presented. I particularly enjoyed the description of Roosevelt¿s first few days as president. The Adams biography is superior in that most of that material came in the form of letters from Abigail and John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and the quality of what they had to say was usually a lot more interesting than what President Roosevelt and his cronies and family wrote or said. The perspective on Roosevelt is almost totally a near contemporary one. This material reads like something we might review now about President Reagan¿s presidency. For those who are not familiar with U.S. political, social, and economic history prior to and during this time, some of the sections will be hard to fathom. That is a major weakness of the book. The other major weakness is that the coverage of subjects is unbalanced in length. For example, there is a lengthy section on some gunboat diplomacy to help out two hostages in Morocco, one of whom is thought to be an American. Other than showing that Roosevelt liked to send in the Navy, this material didn¿t warrant the attention it receives here. If you are like me, you will enjoy the way that Mr. Morris displays how Roosevelt built a power base by espousing popular issues like trust-busting to wean himself away from political dependency on Senator Mark Hanna. President Roosevelt¿s ability to work the newspapers to his advantage was astonishingly adroit for an ¿accidental¿ president with limited prior experience in public office. On the personal side, the book is filled with examples of President Roosevelt¿s love of all forms of physical activity, including eating, and the way that he sought to preserve privacy for his personal life. Late in his presidency, he could not read very well with his left eye due to a boxing injury received in a match while president. Having become president due to the assassination of President McKinley, you will read with interest his own close calls with death and a potential assassin. The vignettes involving his very independent daughter, Alice, will amuse you in many cases. On the other hand, you may be annoyed (as I was) to learn that President Roosevelt¿s final decision about the Brownsville soldiers was withheld for a few days with the probable motive of helping his son-in-law, Alice¿s husband, be re-elected to Congress. The almost total silence on the drawb
Guest More than 1 year ago
I began this book interested in, and left it fascinated by, Theodore Roosevelt. It was amazing to learn how many aspects of America's evolution from frontier society to the 20th century were shaped by TR's presidency. For those with an interest in American history, this books links the eras between the conquest of the West and World War I in a comprehensive and compelling fashion.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. Roosevelt was an interesting person, full of contradictions. He was a man of action, but he loved to sit and read. He was definitely pro-America and wholeheartedly endorsed the Monroe Doctrine, but he also worked hard for peace. He was a family man, but his relationship with his oldest daughter remained a complicated one.I learned a lot about the Roosevelt presidency from this book. I had no idea how close the US came to war, first with Germany and England and later with Japan. I also didn't realize that Roosevelt had tried to move towards civil rights, but faced such stiff opposition that he almost provoked another civil war. I did realize that he was the founder of the conservation movement in government and that he was a social reformer, but it was great to read the details.My biggest complaint is that while I felt like I got a really good picture of Roosevelt, some of the other players remained a little shadowy. He just sort of dropped these Cabinet members in and didn't give much background of who they were, what they did before serving with the president, and how everyone fit in together. I got a lot of names, all right, but it was hard to keep them all straight. I also think there should have been more in there about McKinley's death and his assassin.But overall, it is worth reading and I recommend it, especially if you are interested in US history. The author felt that Roosevelt was the most important president since Lincoln, and when I look at all his accomplishments, I might just have to agree. 4 stars.
ebethe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Until reading Theodore Rex and Morris' earlier volume, I didn't understand how pivotal a figure Roosevelt was to 20th century history. I was expecting a 2nd volume not quite as lively as the first, but Morris didn't disappoint; this book is very good.
carlym on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a most enjoyable biography of Teddy Roosevelt. Morris is helped, of course, by the fact that his subject must be one of the most interesting and energetic presidents. In this volume, Morris covers the period from the day of McKinley's death to the day of Taft's inauguration. It is, on the whole, a sympathetic portrait of Roosevelt, but Morris does at least try to point out his faults and mistakes. In a number of places, Morris describes how even Roosevelt's opponents couldn't help but like him personally, or were drawn to him in some way, and I had the feeling that Morris felt the same way. The book is well-written and lively, and it also provides a very good analysis of the political wrangling that occurred during Roosevelt's presidency. I felt like I learned a lot about the social and political situation at that time in addition to learning about Roosevelt himself.
Hanno on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The second book out of three (the third is still not published). Focuses on Roosevelt's seven years as President.I found it to be less interesting than the first book (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt). Teddy Roosevelt was a singular man and while the first book was all about exposing his personality and fascinating early life, the second book almost entirely focuses on the politics of his Presidency.It's still a fascinating, must-read, account, but what makes Theodore Roosevelt really interesting is his personality and most of that we see in the first book.
Arctic-Stranger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have to confess, I never quite got people's fascination with TR until I read this book. Morris does a good job of giving back ground information, and he is a good story teller. Informative and Interesting. I can't say he made TR my favorite president, but I know why he is on Rushmore now. If you like well written autobiography, or early 20th century American history, you should thoroughly enjoy this book.
gpmartinson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Readable thorough undertaking about another enigmatic president.
gopfolk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good...but not Great...This book is a good read for those who would like more background on TR. I was impressed with the research that went into the book but some parts fell flat with added bits of information with no follow up about the story later in the book (i.e. TR's daughter was discussed many times and there was no follow up on her later in the book.) Overall a good read and kept me intrigued throughout the entire book!
mahallett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a very positive presentation.
zen_923 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I Got very interested about Theodore Roosevelt because of this book. I really enjoyed reading this and I am looking forward to read Colonel Roosevelt.
ibkennedy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an incredible read. One of my favorites.
rnordell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Morris is an excellent writer, detailing the life of a very unique man.
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BrianIndianFan More than 1 year ago
Theodore Rex constitutes the second in Edmund Morris' biographical trilogy on Theodore Roosevelt. Unlike his previous effort, Theodore Rex only covers his eight years in the White House. As a result, the work is more focused and delves deeper into issues that arose during his term as America's 26th president. Seeking stability in an hour of crisis following McKinley's assassination, Roosevelt wisely kept the counsel of his predecessor's cabinet. This allowed the markets and the country to see that Roosevelt would indeed carry on McKinley's policies. However, he quickly committed his first perceived faux pas, inviting Booker T. Washington to the White House for dinner. This action inflamed passions throughout the segregated south and got him off to a bad start with that region. (In fact, he would win no states south of the Mason-Dixon line in his romp to re-election in 1904.) Domestically, he attempted to obtain better relations between companies and their workers while also attempting to deal with the rising tide of trusts that he believed where de facto monopolies. Overall, Roosevelt managed to achieve more than could have been expected, given his reputation. It is this reviewer's opinion that his progressive reforms led to the split which eventually came to the Republican party.  Internationally, he was successful in negotiating the end to the Russo-Japanese War which led to him being awarded the Nobel Peace prize. He also reinforced the tenets of the Monroe Doctrine, averting crises in Venezuela, Cuba, and Santo Domingo. His delicacy and discretion in these matters won him plaudits from foreign dignitaries. Morris once again weaves all of these events into a cohesive narrative that gives a history lesson in a manner that anyone who seeks to learn more about the most masculine of presidents. The negative to the book is the constant use of foreign phrases and $5 words which detract from the narrative. However, these are not enough to disqualify the book from your attention. It is also fitting that Morris includes the story of the origin of the Teddy bear as it occurred during his presidency. It is a humorous story that does provide a relief from the tension of the situation regarding his dealings with the post-Reconstruction south. BOTTOM LINE: A thorough work on the administration of Teddy Roosevelt.
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obeythekitty More than 1 year ago
great biographical trilogy, and will help you answer more questions on Jeopardy!
MRIL More than 1 year ago
Morris brings the reader into the story and you feel like you are living in the 1900's along with Roosevelt in his life. Also great sense of humor.
GregCoxGC More than 1 year ago
Wold you like to know how Teddy Roosevelt's mug ended up on the face of Mount Rushmore? Read this book and find out! A leader that was driven to do the right thing. A man that was bigger than life, but far from perfect. This book does a wonderful job in documenting his massive contributions as well as a few blunders (The Brownsville Incident). This books makes me want to sit down for a long dinner with T.R., and while I might not be able to get a word in edge wise, he would show me how truly inspired leadership rolls! Wouldn't it be great to see our country have a President that the majority of Americans loved?