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Colonel Roosevelt Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 23, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 223 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Theodore Roosevelt Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Bookmarks Magazine

“Now with Colonel Roosevelt,” announced the New York Times, “the magnum opus is complete.” Morris’s balanced examination of the final years of Roosevelt’s life highlights the slow but inexorable waning of his political and, ultimately, physical power. Equally adept at political explication and recounting adventure tales, Morris injects new life, and even suspense, into some familiar stories with his wry, minimalist prose—perfectly suited to his subject’s volatile personality—and an abundance of rich detail grounded in meticulous research. Although the Wall Street Journal took issue with Morris’s political analysis, that critic still considered Colonel Roosevelt a poignant and factual account of the 26th President’s post–White House years. A tour de force befitting its seismic subject, Colonel Roosevelt brings this extraordinary trilogy to a triumphant end.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Morris completes his fully detailed, correlatively dynamic triptych of the restless, energetic, on-the-move first President Roosevelt, following The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (1979), the title self-explanatory in terms of its coverage of TR’s life, and Theodore Rex (2001), about his presidency. Now the author presents Colonel Roosevelt, the title by which Roosevelt chose to be called during his postpresidential years (in reference, of course, to his military position during the Spanish-American War). This is the sad part of TR’s life; this is the stage of his life story in which it is most difficult to accept his self-absorption, self-importance, and self-righteousness, but it is the talent of the author, who has shown an immaculate understanding of his subject, to make Roosevelt of continued fascination to his readers. In essence, this volume tells the story of TR’s path of disenchantment with his chosen successor in the White House, William Taft, and his attempt to resecure the presidency for himself. The important theme of TR’s concomitant decline in health is also a part of the narrative. We are made aware most of all that of all retired presidents, TR was the least likely to fade into the background. --Brad Hooper
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (November 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375504877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375504877
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By T. Simons VINE VOICE on October 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you've read the first two volumes in Edmund Morris' landmark biography of Theodore Roosevelt (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex) you've been waiting for this one. The scholarship is every bit as detailed, the narrative every bit as well-drawn, but I nevertheless found myself enjoying this volume slightly less than the two preceding ones, if only because it describes sadder events, and Morris did such a masterful job of taking us through Roosevelt's Rise and Rule that his necessary decline seems even more poignant in comparison.

This book does contain detailed, authoritative accounts of some of the most dramatic events in Theodore Roosevelt's life -- the assassination attempt he followed with the announcement "Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose[,]" and a ninety-minute speech, given with blood spreading slowly across his waistcoat; his hunting safari in Africa; his near-death experiences mapping the then-unexplored River of Doubt in Brazil (now named the "Rio Roosevelt" in his honor). If, like me, you followed reading Morris' prior volumes with Roosevelt's own autobiographical works -- the Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt,
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The publication in 1979 of Edmund Morris's The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt heralded the start of a monumental multi-volume study of our nation's 26th president. Though sidetracked for a number of years by his assignment as Ronald Reagan's official biographer, Morris finally released his second volume, Theodore Rex, in 2001, which chronicled Roosevelt's life during his years in the White House. This book, which recount's Roosevelt's post-presidential years, provides a long-awaited completion to Morris's project. It bears all of the strengths and weaknesses of Morris's approach to his project, now on display in a chronicle of an eventful decade in an already active life.

Morris begins with his subject (whose insistence on being referred to post-presidency as "Colonel Roosevelt" provides the inspiration for the book's title) on safari in Africa, the first leg of a year-long voyage abroad. Designed to give his handpicked successor, William Howard Taft, an opportunity to flourish outside of his long shadow, Roosevelt's trip continued with a triumphal tour of Europe, one that the author recounts in meticulous detail. Returning to universal acclaim, he also confronted a divisive political scene, with the dominant Republican Party torn by increasingly acrimonious infighting between its progressive and conservative wings. After an initial silence, Roosevelt joined the fray, campaigning for a number of progressive Republicans in the 1910 midterm elections.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book covers the last decade of Theodore Roosevelt's life, completing the trilogy begun with The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (birth to winning the Presidency) and Theodore Rex (White House years). Roosevelt wrote so many books, articles and speeches, and was written about so often by contemporaries, that Morris is almost an editor rather than a researcher or analyst--about 20% of the pages are devoted to notes. Yet the books never turn into recitations of facts, all three are exciting and readable, with the feel of novels rather than historical accounts. They are peppered with vivid descriptions and aphoristic phrasing.

Compared to the first two books in the series, Morris seems to have gained in confidence, or perhaps the sources from this period allow more definitive conclusions. There are fewer qualifications and stronger color in the writing. The other major difference is Roosevelt's position during this time allowed him to participate in world affairs and anything else that interested him, without any restrictions of public office. The first book is the most adventurous, but Roosevelt was not a major global or even national player. The second book is a little less fun to read due to the necessity of describing details of politics and administration. Only in Colonel Roosevelt does his mature personality shine through without cloud.

There isn't much more to say. This is among the greatest popular biographies ever written, about one of history's most exciting characters. I definitely recommend reading the three books in order, but if you will only read one, I think this is the best choice.
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