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Colonel Roosevelt Paperback – 18 Oct 2011


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Colonel Roosevelt + Theodore Rex (Modern Library Classics) + The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Modern Library)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 766 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade; Reprint edition (18 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375757074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375757075
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark Klobas on 3 Dec 2010
Format: Hardcover
The publication in 1979 of Edmund Morris's The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt heralded the start of a monumental multi-volume study of America's nation's 26th president. Though sidetracked for a number of years by his assignment as Ronald Reagan's official biographer, Morris finally released his second volume, Theodore Rex, in 2001, which chronicled Roosevelt's life during his years in the White House. This book, which recount's Roosevelt's post-presidential years, provides a long-awaited completion to Morris's project. It bears all of the strengths and weaknesses of Morris's approach to his project, now on display in a chronicle of an eventful decade in an already active life.

Morris begins with his subject (whose insistence on being referred to post-presidency as "Colonel Roosevelt" provides the inspiration for the book's title) on safari in Africa, the first leg of a year-long voyage abroad. Designed to give his handpicked successor, William Howard Taft, an opportunity to flourish outside of his long shadow, Roosevelt's trip continued with a triumphal tour of Europe, one that the author recounts in meticulous detail. Returning to universal acclaim, he also confronted a divisive political scene, with the dominant Republican Party torn by increasingly acrimonious infighting between its progressive and conservative wings. After an initial silence, Roosevelt joined the fray, campaigning for a number of progressive Republicans in the 1910 midterm elections.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Colonel Roosevelt" is the conclusion of Edmund Morris' magnificent three volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt. Covering the post presidential years, it tells the story of the Man in the Arena "whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again...who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." For TR it was a time of great enthusiasm, great devotions, worthy causes, high achievement and failure while daring greatly.

Having retired from the pinnacle of power and popularity when he could have had a third and we will never know how many terms, TR was relegated to the role of a critic, not that of an actor, certainly a frustrating circumstance for him.

After leaving the White House in 1909, Roosevelt and his son, Kermit, launched the largest safari known to Equatorial Africa, a scientific expedition to gather specimens for Smithsonian Institution and for the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Upon returning to civilization he was met by disgruntled Progressives calling for his return to the political arena to restore the promise of the past. His return home through Europe was a triumphant tour reminiscent of that of General Grant almost forty years before.

He returned to an America that had, in the view of himself and his supporters, deviated from the course that he had set for it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Bowen on 12 Feb 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th American President and the youngest person to assume that office (JFK is the youngest to be voted into the position). Edmund Morris has written a three part biography of his life. The first book examines the 42 years till he assumed the Presidency. The second book looks at the 7.5 years he was in office. This book looks at the 10 years after he left the White House.

The series is an interesting group of books. You'll learn a lot about one of the four occupants of Mount Rushmore, and discover why he induced love (amongst his supporters) and loathing (amongst his opponents -and members of his own party) in this book in particular.

As I said, this book looks at the 10 years after he left the Presidency. Anyone who knows something about Teddy Roosevelt will probably know that he went on a safari, and then made an abortive run for the presidency 4years after he left office. Both those areas are covered in detail here.

What people probably won't realise is that he tried to live a positively heroic (and packed) life after leaving the Oval Office. When he wasn't discovering the origins of rivers in Brazil or shooting animals for the Smithsonian, he was an iconoclastic politician, journalist and author who was predicting the start of WWI (and the consequential need to re-arm) long before most other American politicians realised there was a problem. His iconoclasm split his party and might have cost it the Presidential Elections in 1912 and 1916.

Morris thoroughly covers all these aspects of a "man called Roosevelt" in the series. This book is as interesting as either of its' predecessors because you'll see what sort of man (and character) it takes to split a party and return to it later.
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