- Series: Oxford University Press Paperback
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Printing edition (December 9, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195134249
- ISBN-13: 978-0195134247
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,542,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Lion's Pride: Theodore Roosevelt and His Family in Peace and War (Oxford University Press Paperback) First Printing Edition
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When Colonel Theodore Roosevelt led his Rough Riders up the San Juan Ridge in 1898, it was one of the most daring exploits of the Spanish-American War. Colleagues would later report that, seemingly oblivious to the threat of death, Roosevelt "was just reveling in victory and gore," collecting spent cartridges as souvenirs for his four sons while shells exploded around him. His martial vigor served as a model to those sons, one that they took to heart, but their own experiences of war were far removed from TR's swashbuckling adventure.
At the end of World War I, the youngest Roosevelt son--Quentin--was dead, shot down in the skies over France. Theodore Jr. (Ted) and Archie both sustained serious injuries, and Archie suffered from bouts of serious depression many times in the years afterwards. Yet they both served, along with their brother, Kermit, in World War II as well. At 57, Ted was the oldest American participant in the Normandy invasion; Archie became the only U.S. soldier ever to be classified as 100% disabled twice in his career.
The Lion's Pride tells all their stories with thoroughness and graceful simplicity. Although military historians will surely appreciate its combat narratives, it is at heart a family saga, a tale with profound emotional resonance for parents and children alike. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
In his examination of TR's last years, Renehan creates a story that is at once a family tragedy and the denouement of a way of thinking. For 39-year-old Teddy Roosevelt, the 1898 Spanish-American War was the fulfillment of a romantic martial ideal and compensation for a history of frail health and his father's use of a substitute to avoid conscription during the Civil War. His much-publicized exploits with the Rough Riders shaped his career and his sense of self to such an extent that he welcomed WWI as an opportunity for his sons and for the nation. But although TR's sons?Ted Jr., Kermit, Archie, Quentin?were eager to find the fastest way to the front, the nation and President Wilson were not. Renehan parallels TR's strident calls for military "preparedness" with his sons' efforts to train themselves for a war America would eventually join in 1917. Even in Europe?far from their father's influence?the boys goaded each other, going so far as calling Quentin a slacker because pneumonia prevented him from getting to the front fast enough. In the end, the Roosevelts suffered for their daring: TR would write a friend, "[My sons] have done pretty well, haven't they? Quentin killed... Archie crippled... Ted gassed...." But despite his bravado, TR was stricken and would outlive his youngest son by only a few months. Through previously unpublished family papers, judiciously chosen facts and a moving narrative that skillfully parallels the personal and political, Renehan reveals a great deal about American society and politics, and about the culture of war. But most of all, he tells a sad story of the end of an era and the end of a man. 36 halftones not seen by PW. BOMC, History Book Club alternate. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Beginning with the Roosevelt Family background, the reader is introduced to Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., Greatheart to his family, who taught his children the duties which go with privilege. Greatheart made one decision which would have a profound impact on his progeny: he paid a substitute to take his place in the Union Army. The shame of his refusal to serve which drove TR and his sons to on the battlefields of the world to seek to redeem Greatheart's failure.
TR began his redemptive act during his service as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, from which post he played a major role in getting America ready for and into the Spanish American War. This objective achieved, TR began an insatiable quest to get to the Front. Leaving his family behind, he went to Texas to organize the Rough Riders, an improbable mixture of cowboys and Indians, lawmen and outlaws, westerners and Ivy League athletes. Through TR's persistence they were deployed to Cuba where they charged up San Juan Hill and into glory on July 1, 1898.
After having served as President during a time of peace, TR's marital ardor was again stirred by the coming of World War I. TR, an early and enthusiastic advocate of American preparedness and intervention, raked the neutrality policies of the Wilson administration with merciless fire.
With America's entrance into the war, the cry for TR to, once again, get to the Front arose, not only from TR himself, but from European allies. Georges Clemenceau argued that Roosevelt's was the "one name which summons up the beauty of American intervention" and demanded that Wilson "Send Roosevelt!" In a personal interview, TR had to compliment Wilson in a effort to get command of a division of volunteers. Neither TR, nor allies pleading for a liberating hero, would be satisfied. Wilson, besides being unwilling to give center stage to an aggressive and popular political opponent, recognized that the days of the "Charge Of The Light Brigade" were over. There was no place in modern war for a half-blind, overweight, infection and rheumatism ravaged amateur soldier with a record of insubordination. TR's proposed volunteer division, which would have attracted many of the Army's most promising officers, would have presented a major impediment to the administration's goal of a draft army.
Blocked from the Front, TR made speeches is support of the war effort, while all of his sons would be wounded in action. Ted Jr.. and Kermit served on the ground in Europe while Archie served with British forces in the Middle East and Quentin dueled in the skies over Europe. Many comparisons contrasted the active service of TR's sons with the positions in the rear held by the sons of the Kaiser. Ted, Jr.'s wife, Eleanor, along Woodrow Wilson's son, serviced with the YMCA in France, a fact which provided the basis for sarcastic comparisons. Quentin's death in a dog fight cast a pallor over Sagamore Hill and inflicted a wound from which TR would never recover.
After Quentin's death, TR's life rapidly wound down. Tropical diseases and years of strenuous life finally took their toll with TR's unexpected death on January 6, 1919.
The military service of the Roosevelt family would not end with the death of the Old Lion. His three surviving sons would serve in World War II, two of them dying in uniform. Ted, Jr.. would win the Medal of Honor, a decoration which TR had been denied.
"The Lion's Pride" tells the fantastic story of the life of an extraordinary family. It is the best telling of the World War I era of TR's life which I have found. To learn about either of these topics, "The Lion's Pride" is an excellent choice.
The author also gives us a glimpse into TR's father, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., who was a very generous man with his time and money. After reading about him, I understood why TR valued public service.
Because the author focuses on the president, the reader will see how TR influenced his children to value public service. For example, all of his sons served in the military. Indeed, Quentin Roosevelt died as a pilot in a dogfight in World War I. The elder son, Theodore Roosevelt II, led the first wave on Utah Beach in Normandy on D-Day during World War II. He died of a heart attack some weeks later. Archie was declared 100% disabled in both World War I and World War II. Kermit also served well in both wars, but suffered from alcoholism and depression (TR's brother, who was Eleanor Roosevelt's father, also suffered from the same). Also, TR's youngest daughter, Ethel, served as a nurse in France in World War I.
This book is definitely worth reading to get a view of Theodore Roosevelt as a family man. I wish we had more elected officials like him today.
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