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The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism [Kindle Edition]

Doris Kearns Goodwin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Description


(Praise for Team of Rivals:) A wonderful book ... a remarkable study in leadership (Barack Obama)

I have not enjoyed a history book as much for years (Robert Harris The Observer (Books of the Year))

Product Description

The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin - the new biography of Teddy Roosevelt from the bestselling author of Team of Rivals, the inspiration for Spielberg's Lincoln

Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of the acclaimed multi-million copy bestseller Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, now turns to the birth of America's Progressive Era - that heady, optimistic time when the 20th Century is fresh. Reform is in the air, and it is time to take on the robber barons and corrupt politicians who have brought the country to its knees.

The story is told through the close friendship between two Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt and his handpicked successor William Howard Taft. The decades-long intimacy strengthens both men as they reform America, breaking up monopolies, protecting the rights of labour, banning unsafe drugs and closing sweatshops.

Also at the heart of the story are the original 'muckrakers' - a brilliant group of investigative journalists at the celebrated magazine McClure's. They publish popular exposes of fraudulent railroads and millionaire senators, aiding Roosevelt in his quest for change and fairness.

As Roosevelt, Taft and the muckrakers confront corruption and expose exploitation, America is reborn.

This book is essential reading for fans of American history, and will be enjoyed by readers of Jon Snow, Jeremy Paxman and Robert Harris.

'(Praise for Team of Rivals:) A wonderful book ... a remarkable study in leadership' Barack Obama

'The most uplifting book that I have read in the last two decades. Sensational' Jon Snow

'I have not enjoyed a history book as much for years' Robert Harris, The Observer (Books of the Year)

'A fabulously engrossing, exciting narrative in the grand old style ... overflowing with colour and character' Dominic Sandbrook

Doris Kearns Goodwin is the doyenne of US presidential historians. She won the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1995 for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. She is also the author of the bestsellers Team of Rivals, Wait Till Next Year, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She lives in Concord, Massachusetts, and with her husband, Richard Goodwin.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 31079 KB
  • Print Length: 877 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0670921009
  • Publisher: Penguin (5 Nov 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D9F1YJE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #65,497 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Bully!" 13 Dec 2013
By D. C. Stolk TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "bully pulpit" means "a public office or position of authority that provides its occupant with an outstanding opportunity to speak out on any issue." It was first used by Theodore Roosevelt, when asked for his view on the presidency, in this quotation: "I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit!" The word bully itself was an adjective in the lingo of the time meaning "first- rate," somewhat comparable to the recent use of the word "awesome." Hence the title of this review. The term "bully pulpit" is still used today to describe the president's power to influence the public.

"The Bully Pulpit" clocks in at a hefty 928 pages in the hardcover edition, the reason why I chose the e-book version, and is lavishly illustrated. Each chapter starts with a contemporary photograph or cartoon beneath the chapter-title, and there's a separate photograph-section at the back of the e-book that has 68 photographs. Although a massive tome, it should be noted that "only" about 56% of the book consists of the main narrative. The rest of the volume is taken up by the extensive endnotes and index.

Rather than write another biography about a famous American President, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin has chosen for a different approach. In "The Bully Pulpit", she recounts the birth of America's Progressive Era through the close friendship between two Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt and his successor William Howard Taft. But rather than focusing exclusively on these two, she enlivens her account by twisting through the narrative the story of the "muckrakers" (another term coined by TR): the group of investigative journalists from magazine McClure's.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By imagic
As with Team of Rivals (the Lincoln story) and No Ordinary Time (FDR and Eleanor) DKG once again sheds light on great human beings having a profound impact on their world. It confirms many of the worst things you suspected about the conduct of affairs but fills you with optimism and hope in witnessing what these people achieved, and what surely can be achieved in their wake. A remarkable insight too into the period in the first half of the 20th Century when US 'imperialism' had such a benign and positive effect on the formation of the Philippine nation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Theodore Roosevelt 23 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I first read of the existence of this book in a weekly magazine I subscribe to. (Money Week). The review looked pretty appealing so I purchased it via Amazon. The content is pretty revolutionary and deep, but the author has done a very good job at making it readable. My lasting impression of the read is that it gives a totally contrary view of how we live to how it could be without the meddling politicians'.
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At one point in The Bully Pulpit, Doris Kearns Goodwin quotes one journalist telling another that the article she'd written lacked vitality because it required a central figure that would hold the reader. By writing her history of the Progressive Era in the US around the career of Theodore Roosevelt, it's not a mistake Goodwin makes.

In fact, there are two other strands to her story beside that of Roosevelt: those of his friend, colleague, successor and eventual rival, William Howard Taft; and of the team of campaigning journalists based initially at McClure's Magazine. These strands intertwine as their subjects tackle the social ills, economic exploitation and political corruption that arose with America's rapid industrialization at the end of the nineteenth century. It's a good way to tell the story and the human drama certainly holds the reader's interest. As such, it's certainly not a conventional history but then it doesn't claim to be. What it is is a fascinating and engaging story of larger-than-life personalities, their challenges, their inter-relationships, their triumphs and their failures.

First among them is of course Roosevelt but you can't help but feel that Goodwin's true sympathies lie the journalists and in particular Ida Tarbell. There may be some merit to that - Roosevelt was a man of passionate beliefs but had a vicious side too, and the simple fact of practical politics meant he had to compromise when other campaigners remained pure to their ideals. On the other hand, greatness is not an attribute to be granted to critics.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four Stories in One 17 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a magnificent book. I'm only half way through it but I'm so thoroughly enjoying it that I feel compelled to take the rare act of writing a review recommending it and the even rarer act of awarding it five stars. This is really four stories in one. Firstly, a superb biography of Theodore Roosevelt; a most admirable and remarkable man. Secondly, a parallel biography of Roosevelt's friend, collaborator and (it seems) eventual bitter opponent whose character and career the author brilliantly counterpoises to that of his predecessor in office. Thirdly it tells the story of a pioneering group of investigative journalists working for McClure's Magazine who did more than anybody to expose the nature of the fourth strand, the deplorable state of corruption and greed that had by the end of the nineteenth century mired American big business, politics and public service in the gutter.

Some biographies can be bloody awful. Leaving you knowing just about everything the subject had for breakfast every day of their lives but nothing about their times and the part they played in them. Not so for this book. It is brilliant history and brilliant writing and I have already ordered 'Team of Rivals' next.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars A buried book
This is a typical academic's book. The author is so determined not to be blamed for leaving anything out that one ends up with an almost meaningless mass of detail. Read more
Published 4 days ago by A Carless
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book on a period I knew little about
This was a great book- like Team of Rivals. This was a period of US history which I didn't know a great deal about. Now I do. It was well written with a strong narrative. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Paul Hickling
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bully Pulpit is another great book by Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Bully Pulpit is another great book by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Doris Kearns Goodwin has written some exceptional books in the past (No Ordinary Time, Franklin and Eleanor... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christopher J. Cowen
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
If you want to understand where we are as a country and especially our history of government sponsored 'social goods" this is a must.
Published 4 months ago by Louis R. Cabana
5.0 out of 5 stars A double biography which is a delight to read
Without doubt one of the most absorbing political biographies of recent years. This is perhaps due to the fact that it is a dual biography, on the one hand the driven charismatic... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Douglas May
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Inspirational
A fine book not just for aspiring politicians but also writers and more specifically investigative journalists. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Craig Rimmer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bully Pulpit
Any new book by Doris Goodwin is eagerly awaited! A brilliant writer who only seems to get better with each new publication. I was completely captivated.
Published 5 months ago by I.Ll.Wms
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book but too much detail
In lots of ways a wonderful history, but you feel slightly crushed by page after page of detail - I would have enjoyed this more had it been two thirds of the length
Published 5 months ago by Richard Scorer
1.0 out of 5 stars Difficult read
Very scholarly but impossible to read. Far too much detail. Needs a lot of editing. Half the book is devoted to Taft - not a person whom I especially wished to study. Read more
Published 5 months ago by C.H.Bulman
5.0 out of 5 stars another gem from Dolores learns Goodwin
I thought I knew this story, but was constantly surprised. Her perspective and detail make this a great read. Read more
Published 5 months ago by jim Purcell
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