Most helpful positive review
219 of 234 people found the following review helpful
The only way to really understand what made T.R. tick.
on April 12, 1999
Outstanding! This book is a tome of philosophy, adventure, intrigue, and above all, inspiration. Notwithstanding these encomia however, the reader should beware before making a hegira into its noble pages that this autobiography does not follow the traditional structure of a "biography." Rather it can be described as being a compendium of T.R.'s philosophy on life. The true strength of its pages being found in how T.R.'s experiences and actions staunchly uphold and support his 'vigor of life' and probity which he so often addressed as being fundamental to all good Americans. Accordingly, I suggest a first-time reader of T.R. would be best served by initially reading a more "objective" biography of T.R. (I suggest Nathan Miller's Theodore Roosevelt, A Life) in order to become familiar with the events and time frames involved. This will allow the reader to more appreciate the nature, values and beliefs of the great man as told in this book by the ultimate authority, himself.
Along with being completely inspired by a man of such high moral values, the factual anecdotes related in this book comfort you in the knowledge that this hero practiced what he preached. In a speech by his own hand, T.R. embodied his own life; "The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;...who strives valiantly...who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat."
T.R. was a naturalist, legislator, cowboy, businessman, soldier, author, conservationist, U.S. President, world explorer, and above all an inspirational "doer of deeds." This book eloquently tells the reader why he felt he needed to perform these deeds and what was going through his mind all the while.