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Bully!: The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt: Illustrated with More Than 250 Vintage Political Cartoons Hardcover – October 31, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Bully!

Bully! is a picture album like no other: a treasure trove of political cartoons celebrating our national love affair with Theodore Roosevelt—a gigantic figure from the past, beloved and admired by the American people, then and now.”
—Daniel Ruddy, author of Theodore Roosevelt’s History of the United States

“Theodore Roosevelt was the darling of the caricaturists and cartoonists of the golden age of that art form, as this book so well illustrates. These artists’ descendants today long for another Theodore Roosevelt—and they aren’t the only ones.”
—Tweed Roosevelt, President of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, and great grandson of Theodore Roosevelt

“If anyone needs proof that cartoons provide the most fun food for thought for the American political system—open up Rick Marschall’s Bully! and start feasting. Great cartoons, forgotten masters of cartooning, brilliant discussion of issues, and a colorful American hero. Bully, indeed.”
—Bob Mankoff, Cartoon Editor, The New Yorker

About the Author

Rick Marschall, author or editor of more than sixty-five books, is a former political cartoonist and has written extensively on politics, history, and cartoons. Bostonia magazine calls him “perhaps America’s foremost authority on popular culture.” He has taught at Rutgers and the School of Visual Arts, and maintains the nation’s largest private collection of cartoon and comic art, popular and graphic-satire magazines, newspaper funnies, political cartoons, and original art. A lifelong Roosevelt scholar, he currently lives in Michigan.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery History; 1 edition (October 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596981547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596981546
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 8.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #596,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
* I can't boast many "couldn't put it down" experiences in my literary life, but Bully! the new Roosevelt biography by Rick Marschall definitely qualifies. As well as a warm, topical biography of our most caricatured and dynamic Chief Executive, Marschall, a lifelong Roosevelt scholar and cartoon collector, shares his impressive assemblage of 19th and early 20th century Roosevelt cartoons; more than 250 period images from among others, Puck, Judge, Life, and Colliers, exquisitely and bitingly rendered by artists such as Kemble, A.B. Frost, Frederick Opper, Winsor McCay, Zim, Cory, Keppler and legions more. Rather than dropped in as an afterthought to diversify a photo section, the cartoons partner with Marschall's text to create a vivid ongoing stream of graphic commentaries of how Roosevelt was viewed by the public as his political career developed before them. The editorial cartoonists of the Gilded Age pulled no punches, and it's interesting to reflect on how the current Washington product might have fared in the crosshairs of editorial Goliaths such as Thomas Nast and Homer Davenport. I'm thinking not so great.

Bully! celebrates Roosevelt's seemingly inexhaustible energy, legendary even during his life, as the author of over fifty books, and as a naturalist, historian, cowboy, soldier, sportsman, politician, reformer, diplomat, and explorer. Rather than destroying him, the great tragedies in his life, and there were many, served to strengthen his incredible resolve. His amazing resiliency and ability to sublimate heartbreak, fueled a life of tireless service, whose populist crusades often branded him a traitor to his class.As Marschall states in his foreward, "Presidents were boring up until Roosevelt, and boring after him".
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Format: Hardcover
Rick Marschall's fine book is worthy of academic libraries and TR enthusiasts. While there have been a few books published over the past 100 years (3 of which were in 1910 --- only 1 that I can think of in the last 20 years) covering TR and cartoons --- none have been all-encompassing, and none have properly framed the nature & history of cartoon art with TR's career. It is an important and ignored subject. This is the service that Marschall's book has done for TR scholarship.

The art of the cartoon was pivotal in the creation of TR's image in the American consciousness. So, this volume is equal parts American culture and history. Additionally, it is evident that Marschall has done his reading and research. He incorporates not just the standard Roosevelt timeline and biography --- but, rather, he has utilized much of the recent scholarship of Roosevelt in his text. So, we have a subject new to TR scholarship, a superb additional to the study of cartoon art, and an equally fine basic biography.

The book is handsome. The illustrations are magnificent. And, the story is strenuous, as TR was! It is a perfect companion to the best of TR biographies: Dalton, Morris, and Harbaugh.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up Bully because of my interest in cartoons and graphics rather than for any particular fascination with Theodore Roosevelt. A book about America's most caricatured president, written by America's most knowledgeable authority on cartoons and illustration, had to be a winner. I was not disappointed. Rick Marshall's writing is as entertaining and concise as his knowledge is thorough.

Bully is filled page after page with marvelous old color lithographs from not only the famous comic monthlies of the day like Puck and Judge, but many of the more obscure periodicals that most researchers wouldn't have come across. Marshall has amassed the largest private archive of political cartoons in the world and has selected the finest examples for this definitive graphic study of TR. Virtually all the great cartoonists of the time are represented here, among them; Harrison Cady, Rudolf Dirks, Palmer Cox, T.S. Sullivant, Billy DeBeck, J.M. Flagg, George Carlson, "Ding" Darling and Art Young. As such, it presents an overview of political cartooning from the heyday of the form.

The reproductions in the book are sharper than any I've seen and Marshall tells the story of Teddy Roosevelt so well that despite my initial indifference, I quickly became engrossed in the life story of one of the most colorful individuals in American history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fun account of the life and times of Teddy R and the addition of the political cartoons is great. It worked well on the kindle app on a 1st gen ipad mini. The times were similar to ours now where the "Robber Baron's" threatened to take over the country and it is interesting to see how these Republicans recognized that Capitalism was to be merely a tool for a free people.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
... this review would be quite lengthy, as the illustrations featured in this remarkable collection are a fascinating and insightful overview of TR and how his words and actions were perceived by the nation and the world. The political cartoons - on their own - would tell a remarkable story of this man and the era in which he lived ... but the author has gone over and above in providing an absolutely excellent narrative about Theodore Roosevelt. Marschall includes many of the classic TR stories readers have probably seen elsewhere, but he also shares many more obscure tidbits. In addition to being extremely well written, the book is also well organized. Overall, an essential resource for anyone who is interested in the life and/or times of Theodore Roosevelt.
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