Manifest Destiny by Brian Garfield was first published around 1989. Basically it is a fictionalized account of the period of time future president Theodore Roosevelt traveled to and lived for an extended period of time in the Dakota Bad Lands.
The author makes the statement that all the events in this book are true. This is indeed true; up to a certain point. I will address this first. The basic time frame is correct and for the most part the characters mentioned in the book are real. The events, such as the battle with the unsavory Marquis De Mores did indeed take place as did the chasing out outlaws by Roosevelt. It must be noted though, from a historical point of view, the author has taken great liberties in dramatizing the events as they unfold. Now this is fine and I have no problems with this, but the reader must be aware that Garfield has gotten a lot of miles out of some pretty insignificant events and has used his literary license to its fullest.
The book is well crafted and is a rather nice old western adventure read much in the vein of the Master...L'Amour. I personally feel the author had/has away to go to meet the standards of L'Amour, but still and all if you like this particular genre, written in this style, then this will be a satisfying read.
The one part I probably enjoyed the most was reading of Roosevelt's transformation (as seen through the author's eyes and pen) from a rather sickly spoiled little city boy into the rather rough and tumble sort of man he eventually became. The author does a very good job of this and it is a pleasing part of the read.
I do have objections though. The author at times goes off on wild tangents which have absolutely nothing to do with the story. A good editor could have cut quite a number of pages and the read would have been so much smoother. I like details; love details in fact, but the author pushed this aspect of his writing to the point of being almost annoying at times.
All in all though, this is a very satisfying read for anyone needing a "Western fix." This one harkens back to the days of the old dime western but in this case the author has more skill than so many of the early pulp writers.
There are some excellent new biographies out of Teddy now, Theodore Rex (Modern Library Paperbacks) by Edmund Morris being a very good start for those interested. This particular biography covers this period of Roosevelt's life quite well.
All in all I do recommend this one...it was a pleasing read.