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The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Modern Library Paperbacks) Paperback – November 20, 2001
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Praise for the rise of Theodore Roosevelt
“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.
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These growing years thus set the tone for a lifetime of pushing himself to be physically fit, exploring the extremes of climate and nature’s challenges, talking and learning from the “common man” in each environment he travels and lives in. He discovers the joy of hunting, writing history (especially naval history), ranching and cattle raising, fighting and being a soldier and leader of fighting men. We see him plunge into life, from the “Wild West”—the Dakotas—to the jungles of Cuba. His robust enthusiasm for life grows, his fascination with politics grows, his confidence and magnetism grow. He climbs up the political ladder until he becomes the “Boy Governor” of New York, and later Vice-President of the United States-- just as McKinley is shot and dies. Roosevelt was 42 years old when he became President.
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.
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.