Actually my complaint isn't with the book as much as with some reviewers who turn to "creative non fiction" in trying to give the best Conservative slant on one of our most PROGRESSIVE presidents (one who left the Republican Party to form his own Third Party as the Republican leadership shifted away from Progressivism and toward Big Business with Taft in a road that ultimately led to Hoover and the GREAT DEPRESSION)!!!
Conservatives oh so much want "Teddy" to be one of their own. But he absolutely was not. Aside from numerous other (better) biographies, TR himself wrote autobiography books (where he indicated that he detested the nickname Teddy and was very proud of being known as The Trust Buster). And then there's that prickly issue about him leaving the Republican Party to form a Third Party when the Republicans began jumping into the pockets of Big Corporate interests. And then on top of that one simply has to read TR's quotes about the evils of the Trusts (monopolies and huge corporations).
Also, he was POTUS only through election ONCE. He became the 25th President with the assassination of McKinley in 1901 and then elected in 1904 (his second elected attempt was via the Progressive Party - real name of "The Bull Moose Party", which history makes sure we know that name, not that it was actually the PROGRESSIVE Party).
I make this review with the understanding that TR was one of my favorite presidents; probably one of the top three. But specifically because of his PROGRESSIVE policies and attitude.
BTW, one will find a handful of areas where there are some noticeable errors in the book. I think that in writing something so comprehensive that gaps were going to occur and notes not be found... but if TR says something and Morris said something else, well I'm going to take TR's version as written roughly at that time (not in 1979).
A most interesting president, and Morris' recounting of his intellectual propensities is very interesting, but what I gathered from reading this is that Teddy Roosevelt was forever the patrician at heart and never really did any trust busting. [In today's vernacular, TR lived large!]
This book is the perfect combination of expert biographer, splendid pacing and fascinating subject matter. Love him or hate him, T.R. was without a doubt the most intriguing POTUS our country has seen. This is the first of Morris' trilogy on Roosevelt. A deserved winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this page turning biography reveals a polymath, a renaissance man, Congressional Medal Of Honor recipient, true conservationist, world traveler, big game hunter, prolific author, and oh yeah, two term POTUS. Here is a man who overcomes incredible odds as a sickly child who eventually licks life-threatening asthma through exercise and boxing, a man who lost his first wife and mother on the same day among other things,
to take a prominent place of influence in practically every area of New York politics from Albany as a lawmaker to the city of New York as the Commissioner of the police board to President. A DEE-lightful read!
A nice read, showed a lot about the man who would be President, his ups and downs. He put a lot into his first 42 years!!!
Has there ever been a more colorful POTUS than TR? Morris does a great job of chronicling his life until McKinley is shot. The narrative bogs down a little in New York politics but an otherwise fascinating read.
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