The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all timeDescribed by the Chicago Tribune as "a classic," The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt stands as one of the greatest biographies of our time. The publication of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt on September 14th, 2001 marks the 100th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt becoming president....

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Title:The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Author:Edmund Morris
Rating:
ISBN:0375756787
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:920 pages

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt Reviews

  • Marcel
    Oct 18, 2007

    Teddy Roosevelt ranks among the most colorful characters in American history. We all have heard of the charge of Roosevelt's Raiders up San Juan Hill. But who knows that Teddy once captured a horse thief? Who knows that Roosevelt was a prolific writer, and somewhat of an expert scientist? Teddy ranks alongside characters such as Alexander the Great, George Armstong Custer and Kit Carson as people one wonders, "How did they do so much in a single life?"

    Edmund Morris is one of the best writers of

    Teddy Roosevelt ranks among the most colorful characters in American history. We all have heard of the charge of Roosevelt's Raiders up San Juan Hill. But who knows that Teddy once captured a horse thief? Who knows that Roosevelt was a prolific writer, and somewhat of an expert scientist? Teddy ranks alongside characters such as Alexander the Great, George Armstong Custer and Kit Carson as people one wonders, "How did they do so much in a single life?"

    Edmund Morris is one of the best writers of historical non-fiction that I have come across, and I highly recommend this book, and its companion volume, "Theodore Rex", to readers.

  • Mary Mason
    Apr 05, 2008

    I'm a fiction reader, mostly; this was one of the efforts I made at reading some non-fiction after hearing Edmund Morris in an interview on a talk radio station. He was immensely impressive--so well spoken, so literate, so knowledgeable about, it seemed, nearly everything.

    The book was as good as I had hoped, full of wonderful detail of Theodore Roosevelt's personal life. This first of (3?) books by Morris on Roosevelt was on his formative years--the love of his parents, the love of his family, t

    I'm a fiction reader, mostly; this was one of the efforts I made at reading some non-fiction after hearing Edmund Morris in an interview on a talk radio station. He was immensely impressive--so well spoken, so literate, so knowledgeable about, it seemed, nearly everything.

    The book was as good as I had hoped, full of wonderful detail of Theodore Roosevelt's personal life. This first of (3?) books by Morris on Roosevelt was on his formative years--the love of his parents, the love of his family, the love of his life who died just after marriage, of his depression which took him West for much of his early life.

    The development of his political policies becomes more understandable, but more than anything else, I was impressed by his great "vigor." It seemed utterly inexhaustible and was such a driving force in his view of life and things one could and should achieve.

    The very satisfying story of a remarkable man written by a really gifted author.

  • Erik Graff
    Aug 16, 2009

    Having been invited by Nate and Robyn Gregory to spend two weeks with them in NW Wisconsin and having had several prior visits to the nearby town, I brought up two books for scholarly review and trusted to the Hayward animal welfare resale shop for supplementary pleasure reading. There I picked up this text and a couple of birthday gifts for a niece, expecting to make a start while still up in the north woods, but to finish it at home.

    In fact, the text was so engrossing that I finished it in a f

    Having been invited by Nate and Robyn Gregory to spend two weeks with them in NW Wisconsin and having had several prior visits to the nearby town, I brought up two books for scholarly review and trusted to the Hayward animal welfare resale shop for supplementary pleasure reading. There I picked up this text and a couple of birthday gifts for a niece, expecting to make a start while still up in the north woods, but to finish it at home.

    In fact, the text was so engrossing that I finished it in a few days. Having just read another biography of the young Roosevelt, Mornings on Horseback, I had expected to be a bit bored by repetition. This was not the case. Even moreso than the other book, The Rise represents its subject as a distinctive, forceful personality--engaging yet incredible.

    It also covers a longer span, taking Roosevelt up to his becoming President.

    For me, Theodore Roosevelt is somewhat enigmatic. He was at once an aristocratic advocate for the American commonweal and a jingoistic advocate of imperialist adventurism. He was a prodigious hunter, the slayer of thousands and tens of thousands, and an early conservationist. He defended some of the interests of the domestic working class, of women and of children, but he was proud of having personally killed at least one Spanish soldier in the US invasion of Cuba, little concerned for the dubious pretext for the invasion or for the person and relations of the poor man he slayed. In this regard one is reminded of the true believers as regards our recent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq--Roosevelt being exceptional in that he was a blueblood politician who actually participated at some risk in the foreign policy he advocated.

  • Matt
    Feb 05, 2010

    Everyone, it seems, loves Theodore Roosevelt. He did so many things, and was so many things, in his fully-lived life, that there's an aspect of his personality that anyone - of any political persuasion - can latch onto.

    A Democrat can support his love of nature, and the creation of the National Park system; Republicans can support the fact that Teddy would be more than willing to go into those National Parks and blow the hell out of whatever animal crossed his path. A Democrat can support the fa

    Everyone, it seems, loves Theodore Roosevelt. He did so many things, and was so many things, in his fully-lived life, that there's an aspect of his personality that anyone - of any political persuasion - can latch onto.

    A Democrat can support his love of nature, and the creation of the National Park system; Republicans can support the fact that Teddy would be more than willing to go into those National Parks and blow the hell out of whatever animal crossed his path. A Democrat can support the fact that he was a social reformer (he palled around with Jacob Riis); Republicans can support the fact that he was tough on crime (he was the NYC Police Commissioner, after all). Democrats like that he was a trust buster; Republicans can get behind his muscular foreign policy (and he even killed a Spaniard, back when that meant something).

    In

    , Edmund Morris gives us the first in a planned trilogy on the overstuffed life of our 26th president. It begins with Teddy's birth in 1858 (he was a frail, tiny baby) and ends with his accidental ascension to the presidency in 1901, following the assassination of William McKinley. Between those dates are enough ups, downs, triumphs, tragedies, and adventures for a couple lives.

    Teddy's defining principle is neatly summed up in his famous speech on citizenship in a republic, which he gave at the Sorbonne. You've read the speech, I'm sure, or at least the part about "the man who is actually in the arena" who should be glad knowing that "his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." This quote has been repeated so many times, on so many Greek t-shirts on so many college campuses, that they've lost all meaning. It's very easy to believe these things. You'd have to be a contrarian

    to believe them. But as Morris shows, Theodore Roosevelt was a man who lived the principles of doing, trying, daring.

    He started as a sickly, asthmatic boy who liked insects and taxidermy. Before he was fifteen, he'd traveled the world: Europe, Egypt, and the Holy Land. Realizing his physical weakness, he embarked on an ambitious exercise regimen. He attended Harvard

    and he liked to kill animals and stuff them. In other words, a renaissance man.

    Morris chronicles all this and more in a way that places you into Theodore Roosevelt's life. Too many biographies maintain a certain formality that manifests itself as distance and lifelessness. These are works that seem content to tell you what happened, and in what order, and maybe even what it might have meant to the world. But few give you that sense of a living, breathing person, and the near-infinite nuances of character that entails. Really, the only other biography I can compare this to is Robert Caro's

    . I don't think Morris is as good a writer, but both authors have the same ambition: to show the full, epic scope of a great man's life, while still capturing the human details.

    At nearly 800 pages, Morris has the space to cover everything. Not just the obvious stuff, like the tragic death of Roosevelt's first wife, but the littler events that nevertheless shaped Teddy's life. For instance, Morris gets into the specifics of the rough-and-tumble world of New York politics, where Teddy started as a "political hack", became an assemblyman, and eventually lost a bitter mayoral election. Somewhere in that span of years, he also found time to chase down some horse thieves outside his Dakota ranch (Morris helpfully provides a map of this escapade).

    Surprisingly, one of Teddy's better-known exploits - his charges up Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill - are dealt with rather briefly. Which is not to say the passages weren't enjoyable, because they were. Morris is a vivid storyteller, up to the task of narrating his hero's journey.

    Roosevelt won the Medal of Honor for his actions. Then he went back to America and became Governor of New York. And this was after he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Yes, after you finish reading this book, you will look at your own life in despair at how little you've accomplished (but look on the bright side: Teddy Roosevelt never read a book review on the internet!)

    With all these great deeds and derring-do, my favorite section of the book was on Roosevelt the writer. Morris does a commendable job analyzing Teddy's literary efforts, which include

    , a biography on Thomas Hart Benton, and his mammoth project,

    . It's fascinating to see how Teddy's writings foreshadowed his concept of America, which became important when he ascended to the presidency.

    With any biography, there comes the question of bias, either pro or con. On the whole, I thought Morris' treatment of Roosevelt was quite fair. Any time you have such an out-sized character, you run the risk of hyperbole or hagiography. Morris manages to avoid this, and doesn't get swept away by Roosevelt's theatrics. This is no small feat, since Roosevelt was a writer and his stories got better with the telling. Morris does note some of Teddy's darker characteristics, but he doesn't dwell long on them. If I have a criticism here, it's that he doesn't really explore Teddy's racial views. Not to put to fine a point on it, but he was something of a white supremacist (of the paternal, early 20th century variety, not the cross-burning Mississippi brand of the 1960s).

    Since this book was authored by the same guy who wrote

    , the controversial biography on Ronald Reagan, I am obliged to say that there are

    fictional narrators inserted into the story for reasons unknown but to God and Edmund Morris. Indeed, the scholarship and sourcing look top-notch, and I found the endnotes to be quite enjoyable. (Apparently, Teddy and I share the same book-crush on Natasha from

    ).

    As an aside, apropos of nothing, something about Teddy Roosevelt just bugs the hell out of me. There's too much of the moneyed dilettante about him. I can't help thinking his pugnacious, blustery, can-do style must have been irritating and insufferable to his contemporaries.

    It's pretty easy to believe that anyone can achieve anything if they only work hard enough when you yourself were born rich. I'm interested, as I read the next volume, to see Teddy's Horatio Algers myth at work in the White House.

    With that said, I'm looking forward to reading the next volume,

    . I also fondly hope (as I do with Robert Caro) that the fates will allow Edmund Morris to finish this project.

  • Dick Gullickson
    Apr 20, 2010

    It's hard to separate my admiration for Theodore Roosevelt from my appreciation for Edmund Morris's great biography. Theodore is an unexpectedly remarkable and fascinating individual. Edmund paints a compelling picture of Teddy with his boyish enthusiasms, boundless energy, magnetic personality, odd speaking style (at least for much of his early career), and top flight intellect. Roosevelt was a committed amateur biologist who wrote one of his many books on the big game animals of the west. He w

    It's hard to separate my admiration for Theodore Roosevelt from my appreciation for Edmund Morris's great biography. Theodore is an unexpectedly remarkable and fascinating individual. Edmund paints a compelling picture of Teddy with his boyish enthusiasms, boundless energy, magnetic personality, odd speaking style (at least for much of his early career), and top flight intellect. Roosevelt was a committed amateur biologist who wrote one of his many books on the big game animals of the west. He wrote a number of biographies of political figures emphasizing his own theory of manifest destiny for America. Teddy could knock out a book in a few months -- with his photographic memory he remembered everything he read and could synthesize that information and dictate a manuscript without slowing to consult his notes. This same intellect made him a formidable raconteur and dinner table conversationalist. He was known for inviting experts on history, philosophy, religion, or science to dinner and then dominating the conversation by telling his guest all about the area of his guest's specialty. (But the favorable impression left by so much knowledge was probably somewhat tarnished by his inability to pause and listen). Roosevelt's eastern "dude" image was softened by his cowboy status having been a deputy sheriff in North Dakota and bringing three desperados to justice. His one unsuccessful attempt at business (at least financially, he had a great time doing it), was establishing a cattle ranch near Dickinson, ND, where Janie once taught school. He led his cowboy rough riders regiment in the Spanish American War and almost won the congressional medal of honor for leading the charge up San Juan Hill. By the way, as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he did more than almost anyone (with the possible exception of the Spanish) to trigger the Spanish American War.

    This is the best book I have read this year. And maybe last year, too.

  • Jim
    Jan 23, 2011

    This is one of the great biographies of all time, certainly the greatest I have ever read. Thus it is also the greatest presidential biography I have ever read, and I've read nearly thirty such volumes. This is the first volume of Edmund Morris's three-volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt, covering the years from his birth to the moment his presidency began. Never have I read such a thoroughly researched, minutely detailed, yet stirring and compelling biography. This is a book that seems to ov

    This is one of the great biographies of all time, certainly the greatest I have ever read. Thus it is also the greatest presidential biography I have ever read, and I've read nearly thirty such volumes. This is the first volume of Edmund Morris's three-volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt, covering the years from his birth to the moment his presidency began. Never have I read such a thoroughly researched, minutely detailed, yet stirring and compelling biography. This is a book that seems to overlook nothing, yet it propels the reader like a great novel. It is a masterful, unforgettable achievement, one which leaves me hungry for the second and third volumes.

  • Laura
    Nov 28, 2011

    I can't remember the last time I was so glad to have finished a book. Clearly, this is an award-winning work with lots of glowing reviews. From about the middle of the book on, it was a slog to get through. I won't say the book itself is bad, as it was meticulously researched and written. I think it's more a case of what I was expecting, and what I instead got from this that caused the problem.

    What I expected:

    1. I wanted to know TR as a human being: personal, professional, spiritual, social.

    2

    I can't remember the last time I was so glad to have finished a book. Clearly, this is an award-winning work with lots of glowing reviews. From about the middle of the book on, it was a slog to get through. I won't say the book itself is bad, as it was meticulously researched and written. I think it's more a case of what I was expecting, and what I instead got from this that caused the problem.

    What I expected:

    1. I wanted to know TR as a human being: personal, professional, spiritual, social.

    2. I wanted to understand his family life.

    3. I wanted a flavor for the times in which he lived. I wanted to know what it was like to live in the mid-to-late 1800s in America.

    4. I wanted to be entertained. I wanted to learn something. I wanted to be moved. What do all of us want when we pick up a book? This is one of our best known presidents. Ideally, I wanted to come away with a great respect and admiration for the subject.

    What I got:

    1. If you're familiar with the Seinfeld episode about the "minutia", then I could stop this review right here. The book started with so much promise. I thought I was getting everything in my list. I was so happy to have been recommended this book. This lasted for a couple hundred pages, when TR's young life was covered. I wasn't getting a good flavor for the times, but it seemed we could be headed in that direction. Wrong.

    2. If you are a hunter and can picture yourself literally dancing with glee after shooting an animal (TR actually did this after shooting his first buffalo. I have to say, he lost a lot of my respect at that point. I can appreciate people who hunt for meat, even though I wouldn't do it unless I was actually starving. But to dance with glee after shooting an animal with a rifle? Takes it a bit far, sorry), then by all means read this book. You will get LOTS, and I do mean lots, of detail about every animal he shot: where the bullet went in, where it came out, in some cases where the bullet went after exiting, information in short that no one wants to know. Really, does even the most avid sportsman want to hear this? I ask you. There were whole chapters devoted to hunting details. Not kidding.

    3. You will get chapter and verse and verse and verse about every job he took, and almost what he did every day at that job. I'm really not exaggerating. Details at the level that you'd be totally uninterested unless you were writing an assigned paper about TR. And even then, I don't think even the scholars are interested in that level of minutia.

    4. The Spanish-American war was covered. I still don't understand why this happened and what was the real end result. Really? In a book with so much pointless detail, you can't give the reader a real understanding of this conflict? It would only take a paragraph or two. I'm not looking to write an article about it, but a good basic understanding would be nice in a book over 900 pages long. I came in with no understanding, so perhaps the intended audience already had an understanding of that war. Ok, fine. But we got tons and tons of totally pointless detail about hills, ridges. You talk about missing the forest for the trees. Classic case right here.

    5. Once he marries, you get virtually nothing about his family life, how he relates to his wife and kids. Almost zilch. This was a big surprise to me.

    So that about sums it up. Never write a sentence when a whole chapter (or multiple chapters) would do. If the details were interesting, fine. I expect lots of interesting detail in a book this long; in fact, that's what I'm looking for. Morris ran out of interesting a couple hundred pages in. I'd give this book one star but for the promising, engaging beginning.

  • Chrissie
    Apr 11, 2013

    On completion:

    This was an absolutely excellent book. It gave me everything I want from a biography. It chronologically relates all aspects of Theodore Roosevelt's life up to his presidency, after President McKinley's assassination in 1901. The next in the trilogy covers his years in the Presidency:

    . I will very soon continue with that! I was worried that it might be repetitive, having years ago read (and loved)

    's

    . Such a worry was unnecessary.

    On completion:

    This was an absolutely excellent book. It gave me everything I want from a biography. It chronologically relates all aspects of Theodore Roosevelt's life up to his presidency, after President McKinley's assassination in 1901. The next in the trilogy covers his years in the Presidency:

    . I will very soon continue with that! I was worried that it might be repetitive, having years ago read (and loved)

    's

    . Such a worry was unnecessary. Edmund Morris' book went much further in depth. I completely know now Theodore's personality. I know what he would do and what he would most probably say in a given situation. This author had me laughing at some of the things Theodore had the nerve to say and do! His ego was rather inflated, to say the least, but that doesn't mean I didn't also find him highly worthy of admiration.

    Gosh, I have never run into someone with so much energy. Absolutely never. Please read the comments left below this review if you want more details of some of the events in this book. I should say that not a word have I mentioned about Theodore's "Rough Riders" of 1898 and his role in the Spanish-American War. You simply must read the book to find out about that! It is engaging and amazing and funny! This author made some of the events of that war hilariously amusing! Is that possible? Yes!

    I honestly cannot think of anything to complain about in relation to this book OR its narration by Mark Deakins. OK, only one thing, and it is so very minor that it is pitiful. The narrator would read the date July 1, 1900, as "July one 1900" rather than "July first 1900". THAT is the only puny complaint I can think of. I compared Deakins narration to the Theodore's own speeches found on Utube. Deakins perfectly bit off and spit out his words, as Theodore learned to do in his fight against asthma.

    If you are in the least interested in Theodore Roosevelt, then read

    book.....even if it is very long! I will soon be reviewing the next in the trilogy to see if it too is as amusing and interesting and engaging as this one as proved to be! In fact you do not even have to be interested in reading about presidents to choose this book. He is an amazing person. I have never run across someone like this.

    *********************

    I have listened to about 3/4 of the book. I am thoroughly enjoying it. By that I mean sometimes I feel like clobbering Theodore and then later I want to hug him. He has qualities that are m-a-g-n-i-f-i-c-e-n-t. I like that this author has shown me both sides to such a degree that I hate him and love him. In the comments below this review I have gone into details. If you are looking for more details, please check them out there. Really good book and really good narration by Mark Deakins. Yes, this is long, over 26 hours and only the first of a trilogy, but well worth every minute.

    **********************

    My first impressions:

    Once you get beyond the prologue, this book grabs your attention. I do understand that the purpose of the prologue is to show the outstanding characteristics of the man, but it throws in names and details that have no depth. That is impossible in a prologue; that is why you are reading the book, and this is the first of a trilogy on Theodore Roosevelt. The next,

    , covers his two terms as president.

    concludes his life story.

    What you immediately draw from the prologue is the energy of the man. In 1907 in the White House he shook hands with all those invited to say: “Happy New Year!” Quickly, at the speed of 50 per minute. (Skeptical me….is that possible?) He set a record with this, no one else for a century shook hands so quickly and with so many. But what does this says about him? Think about it. What we immediately grasp from the prologue and then the following chapters on his youth is how the hyperactive youth develops into a man of strength and vitality. From a very young age he has serious bouts of asthma. His father takes him aside and discusses his physical disability. Theodore declares that he will conquer his body! “He will make his body.” His fight for survival shaped him and it strengthened him; it made him a fighter.

    From the very first chapters we see the man who came to be a conservationist. He started his “Roosevelt Museum of Natural History”, to the disgust of family and servants. Smelly! He learned taxidermy. He had is head in a book, often standing on one leg that gave him the pose of a flamingo. He scientifically observes the world around him, and what delight he discovers when he finds that with glasses he can actually

    the world around him. He had no idea the world could be so sharp. He wrote in a diary. He wrote letters. Many, many remain and they reveal his personality, his inborn humor. In a letter to an Aunt when he is on tour in Egypt he remarks, “I may as well mention that the dress of the inhabitants up to ten years of age is

    ! After that they put on a shirt descended from some remote ancestor and never take it off until their death.” He did like Egypt. He now had glasses and he scientifically observes and records all that he sees of the fauna. The birds, so many birds! But he is still an ordinary boy. He learns to box, to defend himself vis-à-vis peers. He groans over his father dragging them all off for a year in Europe.

    How Theodore views his own illness is reflected in this quote from a letter sent to his father when he was a young teenager, alone with two siblings in Dresden. (His father thought it important to encourage his children’s independence.) Here are the lines:

    (chapter 2)

    He views even himself with humor. The importance of books, his interest in fauna, his asthma and his staunch character are all evident in these lines.

    The prologue was too stuffed, although I do understand its purpose, but then the book takes off with delightful details of Theodore’s youth, the characteristics he was born with and the events that shaped him. This book starts well. I hope it continues so. I just had to tell someone.

  • Checkman
    Feb 14, 2015

    Theodore Roosevelt is one of our most admired presidents. It seems that regardless of one's political viewpoints there is something about him that one can admire. There is a laundry list: Liberals, conservatives, gun-owners, hunters, conservationists, doves, hawks, capitalists, socialists, racists. You name the cause or special interest and it seems that Theodore Roosevelt covered it -a true Renaissance Man . Wait a minute what was that last thing, racists? Yes I included racists in that list. T

    Theodore Roosevelt is one of our most admired presidents. It seems that regardless of one's political viewpoints there is something about him that one can admire. There is a laundry list: Liberals, conservatives, gun-owners, hunters, conservationists, doves, hawks, capitalists, socialists, racists. You name the cause or special interest and it seems that Theodore Roosevelt covered it -a true Renaissance Man . Wait a minute what was that last thing, racists? Yes I included racists in that list. Theodore Roosevelt, at least in his younger days, was not above resorting to racism to score political points with voters. It was the late nineteenth century and racism was institutionalized ( many schools, scientists and churches taught that the white "race" was the superior race and meant to be in charge courtesy of both nature and God) and the law of the land. It should come as no surprise that Theodore Roosevelt ,especially in his youth, was as much a product of his time and place as the rest of us. He was only Human after all.

    I started off my review of Edmund Morris's first installment with that observation to make a point. Edmund Morris wrote an honest biography about "Teddy". He did not write a starry eyed glossy account about the man nor did he create an assassination piece about the 26th president of the United States. Morris wrote an honest account that shows Theodore Roosevelt in both his glory as well as his more sordid moments. None of us can claim to be perfect and free of sin. Roosevelt is certainly no exception and Morris would have done no service to the man if he had written a biography that was incapable of acknowledging that he was complicated.

    I have read Morris's trilogy in a very strange order. I started with "Theodore Rex" then preceeded to "Colonel Roosevelt" and finally concluded with "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt". It's taken me nine years to read the set (it took Morris almost thirty years to write the books) and I intentionally did not rush through them. When I started I was nine years younger (duh) and still somewhat hero worshiped Roosevelt. But,as the years have gone by, I've matured and my attitudes have changed. I'm now forty-eight and I'm a (little) more realistic about how flawed we Humans are. Instead of ignoring the weaknesses of those I care about, or getting angry at them for having flaws, I've realized that they are better served when they're removed from the pedastal.

    Edmund Morris's books are marvelous reads. They are dense, but they never bore. Heavily researched and supported with both numerous photos and maps (when applicable) I completed them with the feeling that I finally had a better understanding of not only Roosevelt, but America. I no longer hero worship because I understand that Roosevelt was driven by energies that simply don't exist in me. He was also wealthy and it is easier to be a world shaker when one's bank account is fat. The one thing that Morris shows is that Roosevelt

    in himself and everything that he set out to do. Like many who are cut from the same cloth he could be selfish, self-centered, egotistical and cruel (strange how those seem to be almost required for the "movers and shakers"), but also generous (to a fault), kind and possessing of an iron willpower that far exceeds what I have. I also believe that Roosevelt was bi-polar and by sheer willpower was (more or less) able to moderate it by always pursuing three dozen goals at the same time. Morris does an excellent job documenting all these aspects and others in his books. They are both very personal and provide a look at the history of the United States during his lifetime.

    If planning to read Morris's trilogy I recommend taking your time. Perhaps a couple of years. As I observed earlier he is an effective writer and researcher, but you will not blow through his books. This is not a bad thing. Some genres are better served by the slow approach. In the end I'm grateful that I took my time. It was time well spent and I'll be holding onto them. I no longer hero worship Theodore Roosevelt. I feel that I have a better understanding of him,warts and all, and that is actually better. None of us should be remembered in such simplistic terms.

  • Max
    May 01, 2015

    In this superbly written first volume of three, Morris portrays a man of unbelievable fortitude, accomplishment and unparalleled scope. Theodore Roosevelt’s incredibly incisive mind is coupled with endless energy. He is anything he wants to be: an avid outdoorsman, a skillful boxer, an accomplished hunter, a cattle rancher, a Harvard phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate, a devouring reader of every possible subject, an author of highly regarded books on topics as diverse as naval warfare

    In this superbly written first volume of three, Morris portrays a man of unbelievable fortitude, accomplishment and unparalleled scope. Theodore Roosevelt’s incredibly incisive mind is coupled with endless energy. He is anything he wants to be: an avid outdoorsman, a skillful boxer, an accomplished hunter, a cattle rancher, a Harvard phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate, a devouring reader of every possible subject, an author of highly regarded books on topics as diverse as naval warfare and ornithology, a remarkable politician and reformer, a fearless war hero, and last but not least a loving husband and father with scrupulous moral values. And he is all this before becoming President at the age of forty-two. Who today could we offer for comparison? I can’t wait to start the second volume.