Theodore Roosevelt: Letters and Speeches

Theodore Roosevelt: Letters and Speeches


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This Library of America volume collects 367 letters written by Theodore Roosevelt between 1881 and 1919, as well as four of his most famous speeches, creating a vivid portrait of the public career and the private thoughts of an unparalleled man.

Addressed to his family, as well as a wide range of correspondents that includes Jacob Riis, Florence Kelley, Rudyard Kipling, Georges Clemenceau, Henry Cabot Lodge, John Hay, Owen Wister, Upton Sinclair, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Alfred Thayer Mahan, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Roosevelt’s letters demonstrate the astonishing range of his interests and deeds and reveal the personal dimensions of one of our greatest statesmen.

Roosevelt describes climbing the Matterhorn, hunting grizzly bears and cougars, reading Anna Karenina while pursuing thieves through the Dakota wilderness, playing with his children, mediating the 1902 anthracite coal strike and the Russo-Japanese War, visiting Panama during the digging of the canal, and being shot while running for president in 1912. The letters records his expert knowledge of birds and wildlife, his fascination with history and historical writing, his changing views on race and the conflict between business and labor, his concerns about declining birth rates and the corrupting influence of luxury, his contempt for impractical reformers and pacifists, and his disappointment and rage at the failings of William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson. And, most poignantly, they reveal the pride and worry Roosevelt felt when his sons went off to battle in World War I, and the profound grief he experienced when his youngest child was killed.

Also included are four speeches: “The Strenuous Life,” a defense of American rule in the Philippines (1899); “National Duties,” which popularized the phrase “speak softly, and carry a big stick” (1901); “Citizenship in a Republic,” with its famous praise of “the man in the arena” (1910); and “The New Nationalism,” which signaled Roosevelt’s break with Taft’s conservatism (1910).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781931082662
Publisher: Library of America
Publication date: 10/28/2004
Series: Library of America Series , #2
Pages: 960
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.21(d)

About the Author

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was the 26th president of the United States, the youngest man ever to serve in the office. In his vigorous and varied life he was also a reformer, rancher, conservationist, hunter, prolific historian, police commissioner, soldier, and the 33rd governor of New York.

Louis Auchincloss (1917-2010) was the author of more than 50 works of fiction, literary criticism, biography, and history.

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