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Becoming Teddy Roosevelt: How a Maine Guide Inspired America's 26th President Hardcover – February 16, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Down East Books; First Edition edition (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892727845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892727841
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,365,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"(M)eticulously researched. . . remarkable. . . reading this book really brings you into every setting the two men shared, from the lumber camps of Maine to the White House." 
--Bangor Daily News

"In Becoming TR, Vietze celebrates the extraordinary qualities of two men: the one largely unsung, the other well-known, larger than life, but rarely shown in so intimate and human a light. It is a joy to read." --Maine Sunday Telegram

"Now the friendship between Roosevelt and Sewall is fully explored. . ." --Boston Globe

"(An) amazing, true-life tale of lasting camaraderie between great men of strikingly different backgrounds and stations. Highly recommended."  --Midwest Book Review

"It's easy to see why the author has won awards for his historical writing . . . it flows at times like a good novel. . . crucial reading for anyone interested in TR." --Big Sky Journal

More About the Author

Andrew Vietze is the bestselling author of six books. He splits his time between the coast of Maine and the deep North Woods. For half of the year he's a ranger at Baxter State Park, one of the premier wilderness destinations in the East. His books include the #1 Amazon bestseller (US History), Boon Island, called "a maritime whodunit rife with twists and turns and high drama" by Publishers Weekly, and Becoming Teddy Roosevelt, which won a silver Independent Publishers Book Award, was a finalist for a Book of the Year Award, and was honored by decree of the Maine State Legislature. As a freelance journalist, his work has appeared in a wide array of print and online publications, including Time Out New York, Crawdaddy!, Weather.com's Forecast Earth, the New York Times' LifeWire, Offshore, Explore, AMC Outdoors, Hooked on the Outdoors, Big Sky Journal, Maine Times, Down East, and many more. A Registered Maine Guide - and ardent supporter of Liverpool Football Club - he lives in an old farmhouse in the river valley town of Appleton, Maine, with his wife and two sons. Look for his upcoming thriller about the lumbercamp era and his memoir about life as a park ranger soon.
More at www.andrewvietze.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This book is a great read if you are interested in history and/or Theodore Roosevelt.
Donna Davidge
Becoming Teddy Roosevelt-How a Maine Guide Inspired America's 26th President is a wonderful book about the life and times of Teddy Roosevelt.
Dr. Joseph S. Maresca
This is an excellent book concerning the relationship of Theodore Roosevelt and the Maine hunting and fishing guide Bill Sewall.
Bruce Loveitt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. McDuffie on March 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A very appealing insight into the formative years of a young Theodore Roosevelt who was sent to hunt and fish in the Maine wilderness as a way to work out of his doldrums after the death of his beloved father. Under the influence of legendary Maine Guide Bill Sewall, who became his trusted lifelong friend, the experience transformed this indulged and sickly rich city kid, strengthening both his body and his character, and sparking the passion for wilderness which would inspire his later conservation achievements. Good, too, for its glimpse into development of the islolated northern Maine community of Island Falls with Bill and his wife Mary Sewall's boarding house at its center during the booming log drives and the arrival of the railroad. Timely to note that the same railroad line is not profitable any more, and its current owner, the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, is threatening to shut it down.
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Format: Hardcover
Award-winning writer and Baxter State Park ranger Andrew Vietze presents Becoming Teddy Roosevelt: How a Maine Guide Inspired America's 26th President, the extraordinary chronicle of William Wingate Sewall, the Maine woodsman who had a profound effect on young Teddy Roosevelt as his mentor and lifelong friend. Chapter chronicle the remarkable connection between these two men - a connection that almost certainly influenced Roosevelt's passionate love for America's wilderness, and his desire to protect and promote national parks. A handful of black-and-white photographs, chapter notes, and an index round out this amazing, true-life tale of lasting camaraderie between great men of strikingly different backgrounds and stations, highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on January 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
To begin with, I approached this book with some trepidation. Andrew Vietze could most certainly be classified as a "regional author." He is from Maine and writes about Maine. Now I have found that regional authors come in two sized...they are either great or they are absolutely horrid. There is very little in-between. Well I am here to tell you right off the start that this guy can write and write well! Every page of this book was a delight. I also must note that Vietze has done a wonderful and meticulous job in his research...to the point of being rather amazing at time.

This work is actually a duel biography. We of course have the story of the young Teddy Roosevelt during his young and informative years, but on top of that we have the story of a rather remarkable woodsman from the wilds of Maine who had a tremendous impact of young Roosevelt's life. I had of course heard of William Wingate Sewall having encountered his name in a couple of other biographies of Roosevelt, but these references were more like footnotes than anything else. I would find a paragraph here, a sentence there but like many, had never given this upcountry woodsman much though. This was a pity and we should all be grateful to this author for bringing Sewall's story to light.

Roosevelt first met Sewall during his visits to the Maine woods while a student at Harvard. The author quickly and convincingly points out the impact this mountain man had upon the life, attitude and development of one of our more important and dynamic presidents. Sewell took a rather sickly and citified young man and tested him to the limits; not only physically, but in many ways mentally also.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William Sampson on October 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nearly everyone knows some of the classic stories about Teddy Roosevelt such as the charge up San Juan Hill, but few of us have a grasp of the early formative experiences that shaped the youth and young man who later became President. I'd previously read some of Roosevelt's own writings about his experiences out West, but reading about his Maine guide and early experiences in the Pine Tree State gave me a new perception of the human side of Roosevelt. This book sees Roosevelt mostly through the eyes of his Maine guide who also became his ranch manager out West and was a lifelong friend. The book also opens a window on a different time with strikingly different attitudes about the world, nature, development, politics, and roles people should play in their community and their country. The tales of early Maine self-reliance and the young Roosevelt's health challenges can be both inspiring and sobering. How many of today's crop of politicians sought the early challenges to prove themselves that Roosevelt did? And apparently, Roosevelt's Maine guide recognized the President-to-be's qualities just as surely as a good guide picks up a deer trail. Well-written and a brisk read, this book will especially please outdoorsmen as they identify with the young Roosevelt's reveling in the challenges of the outdoors.
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Format: Paperback
Theodore Roosevelt was a sickly child who suffered from severe asthma. Despite his weakness and ill health, he was brought up in a loving home with parents and kin who fostered his obvious intellectual gifts and quest for never ending learning. To compensate for his physical weakness, his parents sent him to Island Falls, Maine-a woodsman's dream paradise-hoping that the fresh mountain and woodsy air of Maine would rejuvenate his physical frailty. When introduced to his guide, Bill Sewall, a quiet yet tough expert woodsman, a whole new world would open up to T.R., and his life would never ever be the same, fortunately for our country!

Raised in the cushiony upper echelons of New York society, Teddy Roosevelt thrived under the supervision of Bill Sewall, a man who acted almost as a surrogate father to T.R. after his own dad passed away, a man whom he greatly loved. He could easily have fallen into softness and while struggling to be a Harvard student, especially after his father's death, Teddy Roosevelt was a man who was lost in limbo; he never felt that he could honor his dad the way his heart yearned to. Yet, it was through a process of general wilderness challenges and a little nudge here and there, that Bill Sewall eventually guided T.R. into the realm of politics and the law, for initially, T.R. wanted to be a naturalist and conservationist. His aptitude, however, went beyond that. While he himself may not have immediately seen that, others did, and when he made that decision to enter the political arena, he met with success after success. Before that happened, however, T.R. would experience incomprehensible grief, namely the death of his wife and mother within hours of each other.
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