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The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (1979)
door Edmund Morris
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The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris is a biography of the 26th President of the United States. This is the first book of a trilogy, is also considered to be the authoritative biography of the President.
many books about him.
I’ve been looking to read Edmund Morris’ three-part biography for several years. Actually, I was attempting to read the President’s biographies in order but decided that I might as well read The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt after visiting the President’s home, Sagamore Hill, this summer.
This was a fascinating book, and certainly intensively researched. Mr. Morris’ narrative is very readable, it is obvious he is fascinated, as well as amused by Mr. Roosevelt. Reading the book, one can even understand how Roosevelt talked.
The whole early life of this man was fascinating. From his Harvard education to his time spent on the Dakotas. Especially fascinating, as I assumed it would be, was his time with the Rough Riders. A man with excellent memory, he memorized all the men, almost a thousand. He shook the hand of each and every one of them, with tears in his eyes, when the outfit was disbanded.
And they were welcomed at the White House anytime, no appointment necessary.
The book really sets up the man we know as President, his morals, ambitions, as well as strong personality. Using the famous quote of Chauncey Depew, a Republican politician, that “Teddy wants to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.” The author goes ahead and proves that saying to be true.
Furthermore, I was encouraged to learn that Roosevelt, a learned man, was not afraid to change his mind when presented with new facts . However, most of all he admired individual achievements which shaped his early life, and later on his policies.
The book follows Teddy Roosevelt from his birth to 1901. The story ends after President McKinley died; Vice President Roosevelt found himself to be President Roosevelt. I certainly cannot wait to read the rest of the trilogy.
I'm not really a fan of politics or presidential biographies, so was a little wary going into this one, but out of all the presidents, Theodore Roosevelt has been my favorite to learn about. In middle school I did a somewhat long report about Teddy and I have been a fan of his since. Reading this book took me back to that report, but with more knowledge and far better writing.
At times this book read like a great American novel, except this isn't a novel. Roosevelt's life is so rich and a times adventurous it's no wonder this biography is split into three volumes. This only covers the years 1858 to 1901. Roosevelt doesn't even become president yet, that's the second book for another time.
You don't have to be interested in politics or TR's politics to like this either. This book isn't really focusing on him as a president. This is about life in America using Teddy as the main character. I would argue this is more of a biography of America during Roosevelt's life. It does a great job setting the time with lush descriptions and some great photographs.
One criticism I do have isn't the story, but the extras. There should be more extras. I would have add a genealogical chart or a list of who's who. I would have also added a timeline. Both would have made this book better and easier to follow. Every now and then, I was checking online for that stuff or I'd forget to look it up before me next sitting.
I recommended this book to most American who are interested in various topics about Theodore Roosevelt, the time of his life, or presidential politics. I'll admit there were some chapters that got a little boring for my taste, but I liked this book for the most part. I'll be checking out the other two book at some point for sure.
I’m only on Chapter 5, but I’ve developed a certainty that the author wanted to have sex with Teddy Roosevelt. I don’t mean that in the metaphorical ‘Oh he’s so great’ kind of way. I mean literally wants to have physical sex with that man. And videotape it. Which shows up in odd flashes, while in every other respect this book has been a very factual and dry PBS-style recitation of the facts of Roosevelt’s life interspersed with quotes from letters and other people’s recollections. It’s just... interspersed with brief episodes of lust, as well.
As a biography of Roosevelt the person, it's very well-written and engaging. I truly feel like I know the man.
But as a biography of Roosevelt the politician, it's pretty poor. We get countless stories about all the clubs Teddy joined as a boy at Yale... and less than 3 pages of the 1900 campaign against Bryan.
Morris also seems to admire his subject a bit too much. One could come away with the impression that Teddy never did a single immoral thing his entire childhood and early adult life. He also commits the common sin among presidential biographers and falsely explains away racism by pretending the subject didn't really mean it.
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The story of seven men--a naturalist, a writer, a lover, a hunter, a ranchman, a soldier, and a politician--who merged at the age of 42 to become the youngest President in history.
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Dewey Decimale Classificatie (DDC)973.911092 — History and Geography North America United States 1901- Roosevelt Through Truman Administrations Theodore Roosevelt (14 Sep. 1901-4 Mar. 1909)
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Regardless of how you feel about the first President Roosevelt--before or after reading this--it's a great biography and well-researched. I'm looking forward to diving into volume 2. ( )