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Showing 1-10 of 517 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 774 reviews
VINE VOICEon August 18, 2014
I became interested in Theodore Roosevelt's life after seeing a preview for PBS's upcoming series the Roosevelts. I suddenly realized that although I know about every French ruler from the 1400 to the present, I know very little about my own American presidents.

I first read River of Doubt, an exciting book about Theodore Roosevelt's treacherous expedition down the River of Doubt and South America. By the time I finished that book I had a great respect for and desire to know more about Theodore Roosevelt...

... Which led me to The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. This is simply the most interesting book I have read in the last year (and I read many, many books as a reviewer for two separate publishers). The writing is poetic, concise, and exceedingly intelligent. The work spans the entire life of Theodore Roosevelt, yet never feel dull or labored.

I will be honest, deep analyses of politics tend to bore me, so I did pay speed read over certain sections that went into political issues - but only a few.

I highly recommend this book. It would be difficult to read the rise of Theodore Roosevelt and not walk away with it immense respect for the man and pride for the president
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on May 14, 2016
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt is a towering work that provides an intriguing and well written description of Theodore Roosevelt's life up until his ascending to the Presidency.

The book starts, appropriately, with an account of 'Teedy's' childhood, recounting his unusual taste for taxidermy and natural sciences and portraying him as an unusual young man of generally poor health. As he matures, he builds himself up both mentally and physically. Trips to Maine for hunting led to relationships with backwoodsman, while trips out west led to a venture in ranching, while smattered with work as an assemblyman in the New York state senate.

Roosevelt's painful loss of his first wife provides a tragic counterpoint to his energetic endeavors, but upon re-entering public life he becomes the Civil Service Commissioner, Police Commissioner for New York City, Assistant Secretary to the Navy, Governor of the state of New York, Vice-President of the United States...and President. A meteroic rise, indeed; and somewhere in there he found time to fight with the Rough Riders in Cuba.

So much is covered in this work, and so well described as Theodore's activities that one feels to be right alongside with him in his adventures.
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on April 28, 2016
A really good book, winner of a Pulitzer, and the first of a trilogy – Theodore Rex and Colonel Roosevelt are the other two. I didn’t know very much about TR, and, since he’s usually listed as one of our best Presidents, I thought I’d find something out about him. This book painted a good picture of him personally and professionally. He basically helped bring the US into the 20th century from a third rate to a first rate power. He built up our military, helped established our National Parks and the Forest Service, was the first to invite an African_American to dinner at the White House (Booker T. Washington), wrote a lot of books, established a treaty to build the Panama Canal and was basically what we’d call a Progressive Republican. Overall, I don’t think I would have liked him either personally or professionally – he was an egotist, a hawk, an imperialist and liked to relax mostly by killing things. His favorites were bear, bison, antelope and Spaniards. He founded the Boone and Crockett Club, which protects wildlife from extinction so there are enough animals around to be shot and killed. It’s long, around 800 pages, but a good read and I highly recommend it.
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on June 26, 2017
I read parts two and three first and finally got around to reading this book. Now I want to read the other ones again! Edmund Morris is a fantastic writer- there is never a dull moment in his coverage of TR, from a sickly child through his meteoric rise to the vice presidency. It also doesn't hurt that his subject was a force of nature. Morris shows example after example of Roosevelt's tireless work ethic and strenuous daily routine. Whether he was overriding his doctor's orders to stay inside, cattle ranching in South Dakota and chasing outlaws, or charging up San Juan Hill, Theodore Roosevelt consumed life with intensity and unceasing energy. He was dealt more than his fair share of personal tragedies but refused to let them keep him down more than temporarily.

It seems like every person who came in contact with him described him as being one-of-a-kind and knew he was destined to be something great. TR faced life head on and refused to let anyone dissuade him from something he wanted to do. His approach and attitude towards life is a great example for anyone to learn about. His actual real life achievements demonstrate what is possible, no matter how many people deny it or explain why something can't be done. Although he was undoubtedly a man of action, he was also a voracious reader and prolific writer.

I highly recommend reading this book and then following it up with parts two and three. Like TR's life, there is never a dull moment.
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on July 4, 2017
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Edmund Morris

I am on a chronological journey through the lives of the American Presidents, each one deepens my appreciation for this land we are abundantly blessed to be citizens of.

This work has been a delight, so wonderfully told, it's rich intimacy brings the Man palpably alive in my imagination. The story reveals the person he was as well as those who swirled around him as he exploded through life. Thank you Edmund, for helping me suffer his profound sense of loss, his thrill of the chase, his indignation for the corrupted, his appreciation of the plight of others, his desire to be a force of change, his deep gratification experienced from those he lead.

I have always liked the Caricature of Teddy that I grew up with. The stick figure of the man presented from the flimsy narrative presented in public school. Now I love the man he was.

I am starting the next episode right after lunch, Theodore Rex.
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on September 24, 2014
Simply, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt is the coming of age story of one of history’s most polarizing individuals. It chronicles bear fights, boat chases, European sojourns, corrupt cops, campaigns, elections, bribery, intrigue, boot camp, bar fights, war, the Wild West, the uppity East, Washington, and the character of the man who would conquer it all.

The first part of Edmund Morris’s biographical trilogy, the thousand-page book concludes even before Roosevelt’s first day as President. In its final pages, the naturalist and current Vice President receives notice of President McKinley’s death while in a remote part of New York State.

The congruence of circumstances is entirely unsurprising.

Roosevelt’s ascent is an amalgamation of fairy tales. Morris recounts Roosevelt the child, an anxious, sickly ugly-duckling who grows up to achieve boundless success. As an adult, Roosevelt’s contemporaries consider him to be Peter Pan, characterized by unstoppable enthusiasm and youthful––even naive––sententiousness. Roosevelt is also a superhero: “I really believe firmly now [the Spanish] can’t kill him,” wrote a Rough Rider after Roosevelt unveiled his apparent ability to repel bullets during the Battle of Las Guasimas.

Even the tragedies of Roosevelt’s life seem to be predestined. The deaths of his first wife and mother occur on the same day, leaving Roosevelt a bachelor without filial obligation. With his new freedom he starts his “romantic” life on the American frontier. Later in life he would divulge his belief that had he not gone West, he would never have been President.

The excessive tidiness of Roosevelt’s life––not to mention his large, gnashing teeth and cowboy charm––has always lead to facile characterization. Even in his time, Roosevelt was a compelling target for cartoonists and glib critics. In modern America, too, his legacy is captured by teddy bears and bull moose. But Teddy hated to be called “Teddy.”

There is no oversimplification in Morris’s book. The success of Roosevelt’s life is inseparable from his character: he was moral, industrial, energetic, talented, and courageous. But his success was also a byproduct of circumstance: he was an international, Harvard-educated, upper-class knickerbocker. Beneath the fairy tale of Theodore Roosevelt is a dynamic confluence of situation and personality.

Enjoy The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt as a novel or as a guide to life.
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on September 16, 2017
This book took me several months to complete as I had to put it down for periods of time and return to it later. This does not mean that it was too boring or tedious but that i knew I had part two and three of this biography to read and didn't want to spend 6 months to a year reading about TR alone. This book provides a lot of detail on his early life and early political career. TR was a man who tried his hand at many things over the course of his first 40 plus years. He seems to have had a lot of energy to always be trying something new. I am looking forward to the sequel biography that describes his presidency.
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on June 18, 2016
I was fascinated by the level of detail, the way it was written between fact and interpretation and how it kept me wanting to read continuously. I felt I was part of that era following someone on the cusp of greatness. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn about the history of one of the many great men that changed America. I also elevated my vocabulary; there are words I had never even heard. (Thank you kindle dictionary and wikipedia!) There was only one very tiny part that made me question his research or cultural abilities and it was related to the passage regarding the war in Cuba against the Spanish. He mention the Spanish taking a siesta and eating tortillas. This is highly unlikely as tortillas were and are not part of the Spaniard cuisine. it is Mexican and Not even close to Cuban cuisine. Not a big deal for others maybe but I was so fascinated with the story that it bugged me for not having that right. I would read it again and know that I would learn something new a second time. Can't wait to read the following one.
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I think this book on my Kindle is the most thorough depiction of the life of T. roosevelt, I have read and "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Theodore Roosevelt series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]" may be worth getting the second in the series. This amazing person, gifted and worthy of my admiration, is a telling figure during his time on our world. His position and political drive is really unmatched. He compares favorably with any man who has played the game of politics and service to his country.
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on March 10, 2013
In the early afternoon of September 13, 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was eating lunch on his descent from the top of Mount Marcy where he no doubt had contemplated his future not only in politics but in life. Now just hours after possibly concluding that his political fortunes would descend as he would from the mountain top, a ranger baring a yellow telegram message came into view that would mark the end of "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" not in political obscurity but it's mountain top.

Edmund Morris ended the first volume of his biography of Theodore Roosevelt on the cusp of becoming President of the United States after detailing Roosevelt's life to that point from his birth in October 1858. Along the way, Morris shows the development of Roosevelt's views from youth to maturity, in life and in politics. While descriptive and showing fascination with his subject, Morris does not gush upon Roosevelt forgiveness when confronted with demeaning views, speeches, and writings that to the 21st century would raise our eyebrows.

The detail Morris shows in this biography on almost a daily basis bring Roosevelt to life, first as a unhealthy child who fascination for learning about the natural world was cultivated by his father who also encourage him to build up his body as well as his mind. Roosevelt's transformation from a fashionable dandy undergraduate at Harvard yearn for reform in politics into the political Rough Rider that was about to assume the Presidency is a long process that Morris shows the reader so well, the reader doesn't realize it until almost the end of the volume.

From seeing Roosevelt at the height of his power in the prologue then see his rise, both slow and meteoric, through the epilogue, Morris hooks the reader in and makes them eagerly anticipate what will be seen on the next page. I can not recommend enough "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" by Edmund Morris to every student of history and to anyone who loves political biographies.
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