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Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I supposed for readers back in the 1930s, this book had a lot to offered. But nowadays, with works by Edmund Morris, David McCullough, Nathan Miller and Kathleen Dalton, there is really very little purpose in reading this book. It doesn't offered any thing new nor offered any great insights.
I read it because it was so highly acclaimed back then. It won the Pulitzer Prize and won high reviews back then. But reading it now after going through many of the modern materials on Roosevelt, make Pringle's work looked weak and stale.
Not really recommended for anyone unless your curiousity get aroused by ancient work.
However, Pringle never fleshes out Roosevelt. Pringle seems to catch his outline, his reactions to events, circumstances or people, but fails to deliver T.R. himself. This might suffice as a brief introduction to Roosevelt but much more interesting and illuminating biographies are now available.
Pringle has a reputation for factual errors. I caught a few statements of his which are consistently contradicted by later biographers. Other biographers display the ability to present the facts, both those favorable and unfavorable to TR, while leaving the reader to draw his own conclusions. With a heavy hand, Pringle supplies his own opinionated conclusions, which were often critical of TR.
TR lived such a full life that any single volume biography has to seem to be shallow. This relatively short biography is no exception. For a biography of TR I would recommend Edmund Morris' "The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt" and "Theodore Rex" as well as Nathan Miller's "Theodore Roosevelt: A Life". For his early life I would recommend David McCullough's "Mornings On Horseback" (see my Amazon review on each). I would reserve Pringle's work for readers already well versed in TR lore who are seeking a thorough familiarity with TR literature.
Pringle's book is enjoyable to read, in part because it includes numerous excerpts from TR's letters and speeches. The intelligence and wit of Roosevelt's writing feel like a breath of fresh air in today's world of banal CNN sound bites. You might be disappointed, however, by Pringle's lack of explanation for Roosevelt's controversial side. Namely, TR's racism and imperialistic hankerings may seem at odds to how a US president should behave, even in turn-of-the-century America. To boot, Pringle devotes only passing notice to the irony of TR's 1906 Nobel Peace Prize, a controversial accolade considering Roosevelt's jingoistic tendencies. Although some may consider Pringle's "Theodore Roosevelt" to be a definitive reference book, I'd argue that this biography is an excellent introduction, which should be supplemented with other works that pursue TR's controversial side in greater detail.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Received before due date, the item is in great shape and is working great. thanks for the great customer servicePublished on December 10, 2012 by Bryan Pettengill
This edition advertises itself as "The Pulitzer Prize Biography." It is not. It is an abridged 1955 reissue that also omits the footnotes and bibliography. Read morePublished on March 4, 2012 by John Matteson
I agree in general with some of the other reviews. I do not believe this biography to be the best I have read on TR but it does fill a niche. Read morePublished on November 24, 2008 by John A. Van Devender
Henry Pringle's "Theodore Roosevelt" was one of the first biographies of TR and was written before the passage of time permitted an unimpassioned analysis of his life. Read morePublished on March 11, 2004 by James Gallen
The first dozen pages of this book promised one of the best biographies I would likely read, when I was quickly disabused of my expectations. Read morePublished on April 5, 2003 by Michael Green
Pringle wrote the seminal book on TR back in the 1930s. It is in print again and is a splendid one volume reference on TR. Read morePublished on September 10, 2002 by David Sorenson
This review is of an older edition of the book. Pringle's biography is woefully overlooked in the great tide of T.R. biographies that flood the market. Read morePublished on March 15, 2002