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Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography Paperback – January 13, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (January 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156028026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156028028
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,071,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"colorful biography...carefully chosen details...reproductions of Roosevelt's illustrated letters are particularly captivating...a lively portrait of an American hero." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Publishers Weekly

"an excellent job of portraying...Roosevelt's larger-than-life persona...captured in both the text and...many period photographs...highly recommended" VOYA (VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES) VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

"Kraft 'talks history' to her readers...strong narrative...paint[s] a picture of both character and temperament...adriotly includes historical background" THE HORN BOOK Horn Book

"handsome biography...Kraft has a knack for beginning chapters with a storyteller's flair, drawing readers in...vivid portrayal...informative... entertaining" BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA

"Richly illustrated . . . this handsome book provides a fascinating glimpse into . . . a major figure in American history."--School Library Journal, starred.
School Library Journal, Starred --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Biographer Henry F. Pringle won 1932's Pulitzer Prize for his book, Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography. A professor of journalism at Columbia University, he wrote dozens of articles for magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, as well as several other biographies, including The Life and Times of William Howard Taft and Alfred E. Smith: A Critical Study. Most Famous Works Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography (1931) The Life and Times of William Howard Taft (1939)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By lordhoot on November 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found Henry F. Pringle's biography on Theodore Roosevelt to be bit overrated. Probably because it was published back in 1931 that make the material so dated. Passage of time and reassessment of Theodore Roosevelt make this book somewhat of an oddity. Despite of being published just 12 years after Roosevelt's death, it was interesting to read that this was basically a pretty negative outlook on a great American. The style of his writing, the way he jumped forward and backward simply confused the subject matter sometimes. It doesn't helped that the author never really get into the mind, personality and motives of his subject. Many of the issues surrounding Roosevelt's life are simply not in-depth enough to be interesting or informative.

I supposed for readers back in the 1930s, this book had a lot to offered. But nowadays, with works by Edmund Morris, David McCullough, Nathan Miller and Kathleen Dalton, there is really very little purpose in reading this book. It doesn't offered any thing new nor offered any great insights.

I read it because it was so highly acclaimed back then. It won the Pulitzer Prize and won high reviews back then. But reading it now after going through many of the modern materials on Roosevelt, make Pringle's work looked weak and stale.

Not really recommended for anyone unless your curiousity get aroused by ancient work.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Avid One on October 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
I agree with many of the other reviews. I picked this up because Pringle's biography was a Pulitzer Prize winner, written close in time to the subject matter. I was disappointed in the writing style and the lack of penetrating analysis. It is like a stone skipping over the lake. Subsequent authors have done much better and that might be expected as history and the passage of time provide their separate illuminations. Still, Pringle had the benefit of first person, first generation sourcing and I expected more as a result. Pringle's three paragraph forward to the book's re-release in 1955 laid a clear foundation. He said he would have failed completely unless he proved that T.R. was never dull. I have to say Pringle tantalizingly cracks that door but doesn't expand on it. I found his sidebar comments on various contemporaries of Roosevelt, especially as some have been lost to history, more interesting. Intriguing side streets that I intend to pursue. In fact, that only would be my recommendation for this book.

However, Pringle never fleshes out Roosevelt. Pringle seems to catch his outline, his reactions to events, circumstances or people, but fails to deliver T.R. himself. This might suffice as a brief introduction to Roosevelt but much more interesting and illuminating biographies are now available.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John A. Van Devender on November 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I agree in general with some of the other reviews. I do not believe this biography to be the best I have read on TR but it does fill a niche.

Pringle's approach cannot be divorced from the era in which he wrote. In his day Historians supposed they were to be clinical and detached from their subject. There is no warmth in the writing and the great and small episodes in TR's life are dealt with in about equal measure. It is hard to justify the detail omitted in TR's pathway to San Juan hill in comparison to the nitty gritty stuff that is included about his political tiffs with some of the bosses.

So, in general I would say that I prefer Edmund Morris' work to Pringles. Having said that though, this book acquaints the reader with the politics of the US at the turn of the century in an eye opening manner. Modern issues such as bail outs of credit institutions are mirrored in the early 1900's and interestingly, with the same arguments. Much of what passes for "progressive" today is found there. TR in Pringle's depiction is passionate but prone to much less of a consistent principled stance than presented by others. The truth is probably somewhere in between but Pringle's analysis is a needed balance to other, more sympathetic depictions.

So... good read... a bit of a struggle in spots... but worth the investment.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Keith Spencer on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This in depth biography gives a side of Teddy Roosevelt that most people do not know about. It lists events that not only helped shaped his political career and social image, but events that gave a more personal view of the President, from his childhood asthma to his physical weaknesses. The book speaks of his thoughts, opinions, and views on several topics, such as art, nature, sports (football), his marriage, and great literature. Had T.R. lived to read this biography about him, I am sure he would have regarded it as a great work of literature, that may have been to long, but gave a great view of the legend, Theodore Roosevelt.
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