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Prolific Texas A&M historian Brands (Reckless Decade, LJ 11/15/95) makes his first venture into biography with this lengthy book on Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt's often tragic life?his first wife and mother died the same day under the same roof?is fully explored. Brands ignores neither the personal nor the political side of his subject, depicting Roosevelt as a romantic during his idyllic childhood; his grieving over the early death of his wife, Alice; the war in 1898; and his governorship and presidency. But as America's romantic era ended abruptly on the battlefields of France in 1918, Roosevelt's life ended as well. Brands uses Roosevelt's many personal letters to tell his story in a firsthand manner, resulting in the most comprehensive Roosevelt biography yet. As the centennial of the Spanish American War approaches, Roosevelt is once again in the news, and this excellent biography may well get its share of attention?and awards. Highly recommended for all libraries.?Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Libs., Ala.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Theodore Roosevelt emerges as considerably more than his toothy Rough Rider legend in this extensively researched, psychologically penetrating biography of our 26th president. Even as an asthmatic child, when he began to mold his mind with tales of heroes and his body with physical exercise, Roosevelt saw life as a series of struggles and achievements, according to Brands (History/Texas A&M Univ.; The Reckless Decade, 1995). In young adulthood, this quest for heroism redoubled with the death of his father, who set a near-impossible moral standard. T.R.'s Manichaean perception of the world gave him the moral confidence, energy, and charisma that endeared him to supporters, but it also led him to intemperate, even demagogic attacks on opponents (e.g., he accused Woodrow Wilson of ``criminal folly'' for not preparing the US more thoroughly for entry into WW I). Brands absolves him of what critics viewed as his hypocrisy, noting that Roosevelt's near-total incapacity for reflection and self-knowledge led him, for good and ill, to ignore legal and procedural obstacles (notably by fomenting revolution in Panama to get the canal built there). Brands also adeptly traces the effect of Roosevelt's romanticism on his private life, noting that T.R.'s grief over the death of his first wife was so intense that he almost never referred to her after she died and maintained a more distant relationship with their daughter, Alice, than he did with the children of his second marriage. Brands accords Roosevelt full credit for blazing a path for future presidents in assuming responsibility for the economy and international security, and for using his office's ``bully pulpit'' to goad the national conscience. Missing some of the brio of Edmund Morris's The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and of the colonel himself, but a life that pays its subject the ultimate tribute of taking him seriously as an adult. (b&w photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Received on time - excellent condition. Book is interesting and hard to put downPublished 2 months ago by Judith Kimmons
Fast delivery, exactly as described. Wonderful addition to my library.Published 2 months ago by Dr. Mary E. Edgecomb
There are several volumes out there on Theodore Roosevelt, and this is, in my estimation, the best single-volume introduction to our twenty sixth president (the fact that it was... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kevin
I majored in American History in college and I had Brands as a professor. Best history professor I had. I get all his books. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sticks
I am now currently half way through this book. I can't say how excellent it has been so far. Mr. Brands goes into great detail as to the deep parts of the life of TR. Read morePublished 8 months ago by ctmb374
A little bit of a dry read but really well written. Written like a lecture that sprawls many days. Very informative.Published 11 months ago by mtbiker