Theodore Rex (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – 26 Dec 2002
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"In Edmund Morris, a great president has found a great biographer. . . . Every bit as much a masterpiece of biographical writing as The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, which won the Pulitzer Prize." --The Washington Post"As a literary work on Theodore Roosevelt, it is unlikely ever to be surpassed. It is one of the great histories of the American presidency, worthy of being on a shelf alongside Henry Adams's volumes on Jefferson and Madison." --Times Literary Supplement "Take a deep breath and dive into Theodore Rex, Edmund Morris's sequel to his 1979 masterpiece, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. . . . He writes with a breezy verve that makes the pages fly." --The New York Times Book Review "A shining portrait of a presciently modern political genius maneuvering in a gilded age of wealth, optimism, excess and American global ascension." --San Francisco Chronicle "Roosevelt is a biographer's dream, an epic character not out of place in an adventure novel." --The Christian Science Monitor
Describes Theodore Roosevelt's presidency as he faced the challenges of a new century in which the United States would become a world power, and discusses his accomplishments and failures, the enemies he made, and his family life.See all Product description
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Theodore Roosevelt was a politican of firm views. A supporter of the market system, who nevertheless saw its flaws and inequities, he worked to reform a system which seemed stacked in the favour of cartels and monopolies. A Republican who was not afraid to challenge his own party on a variety of issues - although this ultimately caused problems and storred up resentments for the future - and was willing to use his undoubted popularity to appeal to the wider electorate in order to bring about change. A conservationist and a global statesman whose actions and measures preserved millions of acres of wilderness, but who was also one of the driving forces behind that great monument to industrial progress, the Panama Canal.
Overall, an excellent book examining the extraordinary presidency of a remarkable man.
A book is well worth reading, giving and insight to Roosevelt's opinion of Germany and Japan that were becoming aggressive and an interesting episode is the tactics used to put a stop to illegal Japanese immigration.
That said, this volume really serves to highlight what a remarkable politician TR was. It's almost a shame that he was President in perhaps the one decade where little of world import happened. Although perhaps he was the reason so little happened! One can only wonder 'what if' someone like TR has been in the White House during WW1. Would America have taken so long to enter? Would he have stood Congress' refusal to ratify the League of Nations? Would it even have got to that point? For a man so famously aggressive and bellicose, it is telling that his most famous phrase is 'speak softly and carry a big stick'. TR understood perhaps better than anyone that an aggressive attitude and a powerful army often serves to remove the need to use them.
His Presidency was often marked with battles with Congress, but it's interesting just how often TR came out on top. He was a master at manipulating the press, at twisting issues to serve his needs, at balancing one side against the other. He was also one of the few politicians, perhaps of any era, who really seemed to listen to the public mood. He began his Presidency promising to continue the conservative policies of McKinley and ended up very nearly a Progressive. For those of us who see what the Republican Party has become, it's fascinating to see TR backing so many things we almost think of as anathema to modern Republicans - the importance of the environment and conservation, the danger of massive corporations, the need for income and death taxes, the support of labour over corporate interests.
Again, this is a masterful book. There are few public figures of whom I would be prepared to read such a massive three-volume biography, and I can think of few other biographers who could make such a read not just interesting, but entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable. Roll on, volume three!