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“Magnificent . . . a sweeping narrative of the outward man and a shrewd examination of his character. . . . It is one of those rare works that is both definitive for the period it covers and fascinating to read for sheer entertainment. There should be a queue awaiting the next volume.” -W. A. Swanberg, The New York Times Book Review
“Theodore Roosevelt, in this meticulously researched and beautifully written biography, has a claim on being the most interesting man ever to be President of this country.” -Robert Kirsch, Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Spectacles glittering, teeth and temper flashing, high-pitched voice rasping and crackling, Roosevelt surges out of these pages with the force of a physical presence.” -The Atlantic Monthly
“Morris’s book is beautifully written as well as thoroughly scholarly-clearly a masterpiece of American biography. . . . Hundreds of thousands will soon be reading this book . . . and will look forward, as I do, to Morris’s second volume.” -Kenneth S. Davis, Worcester Sunday Telegram
From the Hardcover edition.
From the Inside Flap
Described by the Chicago Tribune as "a classic," The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt stands as one of the greatest biographies of our time. The publication of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt on September 14th, 2001 marks the 100th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt becoming president.
I was anxious to read a biography on Theodore Roosevelt and did some research about which one to choose. Morris's work seemed the most thorough and with a length over 750 pages, I initially assumed that it covered Roosevelt's entire life. Ha! A man as exciting, ambitious, and fascinating as Theodore Roosevelt needs so much more than one volume. This tome chronicles his childhood, young adulthood and ultimately his rise to the presidency of the United States of America. Morris continues his study of Roosevelt's presidency in "Theodore Rex" (I read and enjoyed it too).
Between Roosevelt's exciting life and Morris's thoroughly researched, well-written style, "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" is gripping and fascinating. It's long but I couldn't wait for the kids to go to bed at night so that I could read.
Roosevelt, who was his own best promoter, LIVED life and had an interesting one. He was a sickly child but had a delightful childhood with parents who loved him and indulged his desire to learn. His young adulthood was filled with intense love and tragedy. Occasionally prone to depression and having lost his fortune, Roosevelt battles onward with work, study and fun (in the form of tests of physical endurance).
He is honest, moral and uncorrupt. He sees life as black and white and brings that background to the political table. His rise to the presidency is unusual and quick. He was not without his setbacks and failures but he never stopped grinning and rarely stopped to sleep.
When "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" was published in 1980, it won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The Modern Library thence named it one of the top one hundred non-fiction books. It is the first of three volumes about Roosevelt by Edmund Morris.
The work deserves its accolades. It is exquisitely written and, no doubt, the definitive Rooseveltian biography. I shall recognize Teddy Roosevelt the very second I see him in Heaven:
"His ample mustache does not entirely conceal a large, pouting underlip, on the rare occasion when that lip is still. Mostly, however, the mustache gyrates about Roosevelt's most celebrated feature––his dazzling teeth. Virtually every published description of the President, including those of provincial reporters who can catch only a quick glimpse of him through the window of a campaign train, celebrates his dental display. Cartoonists across the land have sketched them into American folk-consciousness, so much so that envelopes ornamented only with teeth and spectacles are routinely delivered to the White House."
Although the book begins with a description of Roosevelt during his presidency, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt is appropriately titled. We learn about his poor health as a child; his worshipful love for his father; his Southern mother's loyalty to the Confederacy; his early love for hunting and taxidermy; his marriage to Alice Lee, whose death devastated him; his escape from grief as a cowboy in the wilds of the Dakotas; his writing career; and his early forays into political life.
Theodore Roosevelt was a man who––most of the time––felt absolutely certain of his decisions, yet he struggled with himself. He did not believe that a man should remarry. No matter that Alice Lee Roosevelt was deceased. She was his wife forever. He argues with himself, castigates himself, before he gives in to his desire to marry his second wife, Edith. T. R. held himself to a higher moral standard than most men.
The book is meticulously researched and presents the necessary bibliography and a plethora of notes.
I enjoyed learning the minute details of the President's early life. He was quite an unusual figure. During his presidency, he would wade naked into the stream in Rock Creek Park, followed by his cabinet, no matter how cold the weather. Now that I would like to see.
My son read this book before I did. He feels quite enthusiastic about "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt," which earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval.
If you are not a political person don't worry, this is the true story of a man more amazing than any other that you have ever encountered, and I really mean EVER! Born into wealth and privilege, Harvard educated and still a man of the greatest character the human race has ever produced. I'd love to make comment for you on so many events in Roosevelt's life and career but I don't want to give away even one of them and you will be happy I didn't. Teddy is, without any doubt, the man I most revere in all of history. How many biographical book titles begin with The Rise Of? The implication is that of a person who's deeds are remarkable. Suffice to say that there are only four faces on Mount Rushmore and Teddy is one? Ask yourself, what would it take for you to be carved in granite for all of perpetuity. This biography will make you a better person!
I wanted to read this book after seeing the Ken Burns film on the Roosevelts because, even as good as the film was, there were details I wanted to learn. This book satisfied my desire to understand Theodore Roosevelt's life more than I thought possible. Thank you, Edmund Morris for a very great work. The awards you received were certainly deserved.