Few names are more widely known than that of Theodore Roosevelt, so that in one sense any introduction is superfluous. But in this sense he is known chiefly as the "Rough Rider" of the Santiago campaign; whereas those who read this book will see that his experience as a volunteer officer in the war with Spain is only one incident in a life which has been singularly varied in thought and accomplishment and useful in many fields. In 1900 when American Ideals was originally published, Theodore Roosevelt was the governor of New York.
During the three years from 1894 to 1897 he wrote the greater part of the essays on political subjects which are printed in the volume of American Ideals. Here you will find his theory of politics, based on honesty, courage, never-ending hard work, and fair play; and coupled with these a certain measure of expediency which without sacrificing principle strives to get things done, and to accept the second best if what he considers the first best is not attainable; realizing that in a government of universal suffrage many minds must be consulted and a majority of them brought to the same conclusion before anything can be accomplished.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was the 26th President of the United States (1901-1909). A Hero of the Spanish-American War, he served as governor of New York (1899-1900) and U.S. Vice President (September 1901) under William McKinley. In addition to holding the elective offices he was also a deputy sheriff in the Dakota Territory, Police Commissioner of New York City, U.S. Civil Service Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and Colonel of the Rough Riders, all by the age of 42, at which time he became the youngest man ever to hold the office of President. In 1906 he won the Nobel Peace Prize for this mediation in the Russo-Japanese War.