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Denver Post A fine account of Roosevelt's rise to manhood, well written and, like its subject, full of irrepressible vitality.
Detroit News This is a marvelous chronicle of manners and morals, love and duty, and as captivating as anything you will find between book covers in a long while.
John Leonard The New York Times We have no better social historian.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other acclaimed books include 1776, Brave Companions, The Johnstown Flood, TheGreat Bridge, and The Wright Brothers. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Visit DavidMcCullough.com.
This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Classic Edition edition (June 1, 2001)
David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback; His other widely praised books are 1776, Brave Companions, The Great Bridge, and The Johnstown Flood. He has been honored with the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
I read this book after reading the Pulitzer-Prize winning "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt", another excellent biography of TR. When I started "Mornings On Horseback", I felt that I was armed with more information about this President than I had going into "Rise"; however, once I completed "Mornings", I realized that I was armed with an entirely different type of knowledge. David McCullough gets us into the Roosevelt house and makes the people in TR's life come alive. "Nurture" is a vital componant of anyone's development and in this book, one sees just how family shapes a great personality such as his. To truly understand TR from a historical perspective one must examine his roots. This book is a joy to read, very informative and well-paced.
McCullough has done another outstanding job with this book. I first read McCullough's Pulitzer winning bio on Truman. The only flaw with this view on Teddy is that I WISH IT WERE AS LONG AS THE ONE ON TRUMAN!!! He's done an excellent job as a story-teller, yet from the bibliography, you can see that he has done the necessary research to make this a first rate study on Roosevelt's early life. Following this, I've read "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt", by Edmund Morris. Yes, he is the same gentleman who recently penned "Dutch: A memoir of Ronald Reagan". While "Rise" was given a Pulitzer, like McCullough's bio of Truman, I must say that it didn't "set" as well with me as this one. While both stop roughly mid-life for Teddy (early life to pre-Presidency), I judge "Mornings" to be the superior work. The level of detail in "Mornings", and the overall readability of the prose struck me as superior. As an aside, I have just currently read "TR: The Last Romantic" and while this is an engaging book and not as hero-worshipping as either Morris or McCullough, the book's reliance on almost all TR quotes, or a slight few that are related to TR, becomes jarring. All told, if you have a young son or daughter who has great potential and you'd like to set before them a shining example of a fine American; physically, mentally, and spiritually, then there is not a finer book I could recommend than McCullough's "Mornings on Horseback".
David McCullough is a master at revealing history as it truly took place, and people as they truly were. His account of Teddy Roosevelt's remarkably innocent childhood debunks the myths that have long clouded Roosevelt biographies. While TR would grow to be a fearless Rough Rider and a President who took on corporate monopolies, he began his life as a pathetically weak, asthmatic boy clammering for his parents' attention. It was through the love, rather demanding at times, of Roosevelt's wonderfully demonstrative father that Teddy grew into his tough adult self.
Mornings on Horseback challenges the notion that yesterday was more idyllic than today. Though Roosevelt had a close family, they did not remain unscathed by the Civil War, nor by illnesses that have since fled the earth. Throughout it all, it was their sense of family, as well as their great self-motivation to improve the lot of the world, that pushed them beyond misfortune.
McCullough is a patient historian. He does not abide by myths, or falsehoods. His prying beneath the historical record is done with sound tools of investigation. Throughout it all, his voice is so entrancing, and his capture of detail so intricate, that we come to feel that we truly understand his subjects. When they are tossed about by fate, we regard their misfortunes with empathy. McCullough knows how to make history as readable as fiction.
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Any biography of a national leader will dwell on the achievements and/or blunders of his/her career. David McCullough, one of our premiere biographers, has taken a different and intriguing tack in his book, "Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt". This is a biography of Theodore Roosevelt before he reached any high office, before becoming New York's Chief of Police, before becoming Vice President, before becoming President.
But what's more fascinating is that it is also the story of the Roosevelt family and its closest friends. The characteristics of these people and how they shaped a lot of Roosevelt's personality and outlook are drawn out exquisitely by McCullough. I had never known how much his parents had influenced him, and how hard he took their sudden deaths, as well as the untimely death of his young wife. Surrounded by wealth and advantage, Theodore Roosevelt could not seem escape the ever-present aura of death. His own delicate health--asthma, digestive disorders, etc.--was also a reminder of the sudden end that could come to us all.
What this did, remarkably as McCullough points out, was fill young Teddy Roosevelt with a hunger for life, nature, and knowledge--and this hunger would shape his adulthood. While the book SEEMS to end abruptly, in reality McCullough had given us what his title had promised, a story of the "Unique Child" who became one of America's greatest presidents. "Mornings on Horseback" is a fabulous biography from one of our best writers. I highly recommend it.
Rocco Dormarunno, author of The Five Points
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