Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt
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219 of 234 people found the following review helpful
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.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2009
Having read several books about TR, I have heard a lot about his writing. Other than reading some of his letters and quotes in books, I had never read any of his work but picked his autobiography up from a used bookstore. I was looking for the Naval War of 1812, but ended up with this instead. I was not disappointed. Some parts of the book definitely dragged and if your patience for legislative maneuvering prior to 1900 in the New York legislature is limited, you might want to skip to the back half of the book. But what comes through in the book are TR's passions: books, the outdoors, conserving the outdoors, and the Navy.

The first half of the book is essentially told chronologically. But when TR gets to his presidency, he tells the tale thematically. There are chapters on conservation, trust busting and other industrial issues, and two chapters on international affairs. Unfortunately, the book ends with his presidency and does not go into TR's world travels or his comeback bid in 1912. TR's dislike for his hand picked successor, President Taft, permeates the presidency chapters.

As with any autobiography, especially a presidential one, TR views himself as always right and his opponents as always wrong. His views on Taft are a good example of that. But that can hardly be viewed as a failing of the book, since that is a standard characteristic of these types of books.

If you want a first hand view of the man in the arena, what he tried to do and how he tried to lead his life, read the book.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Witty, quirky, profound, lyrical--this is one of the great American memoirs. The 1999 Modern Library and National Review rankers of the 100 great nonfiction books of the 20th century missed the boat on this one.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2008
I've loved Theodore Roosevelt since my wonderful 11th-grade American History class 10 years ago. This great President was quite possibly one of the last true Renaissance men: politician yes, but scientist, conservationist, businessman, soldier, and, heavens yes! writer (he published, I have heard, nearly 50 books on many different themes). TR belongs to the end of an era when one could actually aspire to "doing it all," and he succeeded brilliantly.

Teddy's _Autobiography_ is a fun, conversational read. The formatting for the Kindle is good, but not great, and a table of contents would be greatly appreciated.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2010
Theodore Roosevelt's autobiography is interesting and well written. It is far from the best of the TR bios, but what makes it most intriguing is what the author has chosen not to include. TR never mentions his first wife and only in passing are his children mentioned. It is as though wife Alice Lee and daughter Alice did not exist, even though they played a fascinating role in his life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2011
I love Theodore Rossevelt, but it is no secret that he was a very educated man, much more so than my reading level. I've always wanted to learn his vantage point on his life, so it was a good read, but rather difficult.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2014
My dad used to rant against Teddy Roosevelt for reasons relating to the economy but I quickly forgot those arguments as the life of this fascinating man opened up in the pages of this book. I like reading about real people who are unique and Teddy sure fits the bill. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude if only for his amazing work saving and preserving many of our majestic wilderness areas as National parks. Good on you Teddy!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2010
After reading Leadership: Past, Present & Future I wanted to know more about President Theodore Roosevelt and this is a great book to learn more about this great man.
5 Stars
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on February 16, 2012
I'll leave a synopsis of this historical work to other reviewers. A point of interest for some might be its printing. It appears that it is printed on demand in Lexington, KY by, I assume, Amazon (or maybe even United Parcel Service?). There's no identification information on the front pages, the back of the book, or the binding side of the book. However there is a stamp on the last page of mine that says "Lexington, KY February 13, 2012. That's the day I ordered it on Amazon! I think this is a neat service for non-copyrighted books. The book condition is pristine and I assume its on par with other instant-print books. Paper quality seems good/basic (similar to manuals and printer paper).
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on January 12, 2012
Teddy Roosevelt is the type of man our country needs. This book is a great picture of a man who gave of himself for others, who looked out for the interests of the common man, the poor, the needy, and yet didn't condemn the prosperous man either. He contended with those who would use injustice for personal gain and attacked wickedness wherever he found it. My hope is for God to raise up more men and women like T. Roosevelt in our country.
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