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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The thrilling story of the our most inspiring president
My dad gave me this book for my 22nd birthday a few years ago. I was intimidated by its width (about 700 pages) and doubted whether I'd make it through the first two chapters before putting the tome down, for good.
Then I picked it up and started reading. The next week or so gave me one of the most engaging, riveting, emotional reading experiences I've had...
Published on 10 April 1997

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Detailed, If Somewhat Opinionated Analysis Of A Great Man
Mr. Morris writes in a very fluent style, and appears to write a very balanced bio of T.R.'s first 40 or so years.
I couldn't help but notice the slight antagonism that he showed when giving an opinion over some aspects of T.R.'s motives, such as describing him as being a kind of megalomaniac or seeming to show some hypocrisy in criticizing certain types of hunting...
Published on 29 Jun. 1998


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The thrilling story of the our most inspiring president, 10 April 1997
By A Customer
My dad gave me this book for my 22nd birthday a few years ago. I was intimidated by its width (about 700 pages) and doubted whether I'd make it through the first two chapters before putting the tome down, for good.
Then I picked it up and started reading. The next week or so gave me one of the most engaging, riveting, emotional reading experiences I've had.
Teddy Roosevelt was remarkable and tremendously likable, no, lovable. His life was marked by fascinating successes and devastating personal losses.
In this book, Edmund Morris captures an unforgettable personality with clarity. His writing is intense and intelligent, mirroring the book's rambunctious and driven subject.
Just trust me. I love a good novel like the next
guy, and this book is like the granddaddy of all summer novels - except it's all true. Read the book and
you will adopt this amazing man as one of your most enduring heroes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic biography of a truly remarkable man..., 27 Aug. 2012
By 
C. Ball (Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Modern Library) (Paperback)
This is a pretty huge book, so the fact that I read it in three days is testament to just how good it is. I've never come across a biography that was as readable and engrossing as fiction before. Of course, it helps that Theodore Roosevelt was such a larger-than-life character that any biography about him would be exciting and gripping, but one mustn't detract from the skill of the author. This is an excellent, truly excellent book. I'm just glad that this is the first in a trilogy, so I have the enjoyment of two more hopefully equally as good volumes to read.

This volume covers the years from TR's birth up to McKinley's assassination in 1901, which ensured TR's accession to the Presidency. That TR was headed for the White House seems inevitable when you read this book, although I'm sure no-one at the time expected him to assume office in the way that he did, and I'm positive TR himself would have regretted his path to the highest office in the land as much as anyone.

It's almost hard to believe, reading this book, that anyone like Theodore Roosevelt could be real outside the pages of a novel. Such an immense personality, such charisma and magnetism and energy. Whether he is battling corruption in the New York Police Department or tracking buffalo in the West, charging up San Juan Hill in Cuba with his Rough Riders or climbing mountains before breakfast for fun, writing books in a matter of weeks or single-handedly preparing the nation for war, his personality fairly leaps off the page.

What it must have been like, to experience politics with a man like Theodore Roosevelt on the scene. Modern politicians pale laughably in comparison. Hell, everyone seems to pale in comparison. I'm just glad that this book is every bit worthy of the man himself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmatched detail, Hyper-scrupulous research, VERY readable, 25 Jan. 1999
By A Customer
Morris somehow manages to bring TR to life to the point that he practically stands up and walks out of the book into your living room. Even more impressive, Morris does this while dutifully retaining objectivity, giving equal and judicious space to the man's (relatively few) shortcomings and quirks. The result is that the reader lives through nearly every fascinating detail of how a real human being named Theodore Roosevelt surmounted his very human hurdles ultimately to develop into the true larger-than-legend icon he was and is. As much as I have enjoyed other TR biographies (e.g. by McCullough, by Miller) these do not quite reach the level achieved by Morris. The only disappointment is that the book focuses only on his life to the point of ascending to the Vice-Presidency, but after all the title is The RISE of Theodore Roosevelt . . . On rare occasions, the most detailed and honest truth is the most interesting story to read; this is one of them, don't miss it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very fair and balanced book., 25 Nov. 2007
This book was very good. I have an instinctive suspicion of Republicans (I've been up off by the recent crop I think) so I fully expected to dislike the guy but I didn't.

This book, which is supposed to be part of a trilogy I'm told, covers Roosevelt's early life, from his birth to a well meaning patrician father in New York, to his finding out that he had ascended to the Presidency after the assassination of McKinley (the President who dies because they were poking round his intestines without anesthetic).

Roosevelt comes across as a sort of centrist patrician type (like Bush Snr.) with a common touch (unlike Bush Snr.), who loved his hunting and fishing as much for the scenery as for the hunting. By today's standards he is hideously patronizing to what he might call the "lesser races" (he seems to assume they should all aspire to being white, even though they would never achieve "caucasian class" for want of a phrase he might use), but he is a product of his time so that shouldn't be all that surprising. His views did make him make some odd decisions though, especially with regard to foreign policy.

It's a balanced biography but I'm left with a couple of thoughts after reading it. Firstly, part of me thinks that he would struggle to get the nomination today (or even possibly be a Bill Clinton style center-right Democrat at a stretch) because of his centrist views. Secondly I don't think he'd have been nominated as Vice-President had people known he would ascend to the Presidency after taking office, and America would be a very different place I think, without him in the Oval Office.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morris's masterpiece magical marvellous mesmerising, 2 Oct. 1997
By A Customer
I have just discovered Amazon ! And with it a chance to tell you about one of the most inspiring and exciting books I've had the pleasure of reading, and rereading (twice). All the other reviewers are right : Teddy becomes a hero of awesome proportions. He is clearly one of the people from history I would most like to meet - in another life. Please Mr. Morris when will you write the sequel ? (i.e. the last years of his life ?). A book worth giving again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a unique experience, 30 Jan. 1999
By A Customer
People like to scoff at the idea that a historian can understand a person or time, but when you read Morris's book, you're convinced he's got it right. And why? Just take a look at the endnotes. He has everything down to the weather report from the day TR arrived in Albany as a state representative. When a historian has that much information, and has buried himself so much in the subject, he can share a captivating story.
Read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biography, 24 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
Morris demonstrates that he is a writer to contend with. Working with Theodore Roosevelt as a subject, he had an easier task than if he were writing of someone else since Roosevelt was for much of his life at the center of all activity. Yet he does all of this with such panache that I was truly sorry to have the book end. There is much more that I want to know about Roosevelt.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Biography at its Finest, 30 April 1998
By A Customer
This is a very fine book. Morris has a gift for narrative and a keen eye for detail. He pierces the myth of TR and reveals a man far more complex and interesting than the legend. No sycophant, Morris explores TR's dark side and his self-creation as a rancher, hunter, historian and military leader. Each page crackles with TR's energy and Morris's insight--a radiant combination. Morris's ultimate achievement may be his success in making late 19th century New York Assembly politics seem fascinating to a late 20th century reader. Like many other readers, my only disappointment is that Morris has yet to complete a sequel. Perhaps he is preoccupied with his biography of Ronald Reagan--which I look forward to with interest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly engaging, 6 Aug. 1997
By A Customer
Edmund Morris' work on Theodore Roosevelt is one of the most engaging that I have read. When I first picked the book up to read it, I (like others) wondered if I could finish it within a year. I read it in a week! Although I knew some things about Theodore Roosevelt, I wanted to become more familiar with this, one of our three greatest presidents. After reading Morris' work, Theodore Roosevelt solidly became a personal hero, one after whom to take. Morris' work became a springboard for me to study further the life of Roosevelt--indeed, his work became a standard from which I have judged all other works on Roosevelt that I have read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rising Start!, 7 Jan. 2004
By 
James Gallen (St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Modern Library) (Paperback)
“The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt” tells the outstanding story of the pre-presidential years of this remarkable individual. In an attention-holding style, Morris relates the anecdotes known to all TR fans. In addition to the well known facts, Morris reveals lesser known facts which help us to understand TR and his career.
Beginning with he President’s New Year’s Day Reception of 1907, the book quickly jumps back to a very youthful TR. In the following pages we read of the close relationship between TR and his father. We read of the father who, by example and word, taught TR his greatest virtues of honesty, social responsibility and concern for others. It was this father who drove him through the streets of New York to get him over his asthma attacks as well as the one who told him that he “had the mind, but not the body” and that he must build his body. When TR was contemplating a scientific career, it was this father who told him that he could pursue such a career, “if I intended to do the very best that was in me; but that I must not dream of taking it up as a dilettante”, but that he would have to learn to live within his means. Theodore Roosevelt, Sr.’s payment of a substitute during the Civil War left his son with a sense of guilt which could only be assuaged by his own military service. We learn of the shattering effect that this father’s death had on the Harvard student. As president, TR would remark that he never took any serious step without contemplating what his father would have done.
Much attention is given to the “Roosevelt Museum of Natural History” assembled by the young taxidermist. This was the first of three career paths considered by TR, scientific, which he abandoned, literary, which supported him for much of his life, and political, which became his life work.
We learn of TR’s loves, both of Edith and Alice. We learn of how TR pursued love with the same vigor and intensity that he pursued everything else which he desired. The death of his mother and Alice on Valentine’s Day, 1884, which drove him into ranching in Dakota, would be almost as shattering as the death of his father.
There are details of TR’s young life of which I had been unaware, prominent among them are his extensive travels in Europe and the Middle East.
In the course of this book we see the step by step maturation of TR from the snobbish Harvard freshman to the inclusive leader which he later became. College, romance, politics, ranching and war all played their parts in the development of the character of TR.
During his political career, TR’s outlooks on issues developed, but his core values never wavered. From his first caucus meeting, uncompromising honesty was a trademark of TR’s character and his demand from others.
TR always walked a tight rope between independence and party loyalty, earning both the support an enmity of reformers and the organization alike.
After having established himself as an unrelenting foe of corruption during his service on the U. S. Civil Service Commission and the New York Board of Police Commissioners, his appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Navy enabled TR to act on the world stage. Taking advantage of Secretary Long’s frequent and extended absences, TR prepared the Navy for its spectacular successes in the Spanish-American War., a war which TR had worked so hard to bring about.
The war gave TR the opportunity to pay his inherited debt by service in the Rough Riders. Organizing a volunteer cavalry of westerners, Indians and Ivy League athletes, TR had to work to get his men equipped and to the front. Their heroic charge up San Juan Hill is the stuff of which legends are mad and TR made his legend as a Rough Rider.
Exploiting his martial glory, TR road into the Governor’s mansion where he continued to walk the fine line between independence and party loyalty. His successes he won and the enemies he made lead him to the vice-presidency.
I have mentioned just a few of the highlights of TR’s young life, but this book covers many more. Morris employs a talent to tell the details without becoming bogged down. Read “The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt” to learn of TR’s early life and character and then bring on “Theodore Rex”.
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The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Modern Library)
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Modern Library) by Edmund Morris (Paperback - 13 Dec. 2001)
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