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The Greatest American President: The Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  1,154 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Having been a sickly boy, with no natural bodily prowess, and having lived much at home, I was at first quite unable to hold my own when thrown into contact with other boys of rougher antecedents. I was nervous and timid. Yet from reading of the people I admired--ranging from the soldiers of Valley Forge, and Morgan's riflemen, to the heroes of my favorite stories--and fro ...more
Nook, 0 pages
Published August 19th 2011 by Great American Presidents Biographies (first published 1913)
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(showing 1-30)
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Craig Cunningham
This is a brilliant book, and Roosevelt creates a wonderful autobiography. This is required reading for most in the area of American History, begining of the 20th century, and late 19th century. This is wonderful primary source material.
Bertcrabbe
Jan 03, 2009 Bertcrabbe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was ridiculously good. Roosevelt was a one-of-a-kind.

I wish we had more like him.

His 'speak softly and carry a big stick' rhetoric won him the reputation of a war monger but the fact is that in his 7 1/2 year term as president (he took over for McKinley when he was assassinated 6 months into his presidency), America was totally at peace and not one round was fired at an enemy.

A couple of other interesting facts about TR:

- He lived in Oyster Bay, Long Island.

- He started life asthmat
...more
Ron
Nov 28, 2013 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
"Whether in national or in private affairs it is ordinarily not advisable to make a bluff which cannot be put through."

Many of us don't recognize the fourth person on Mount Rushmore. Many more, knowing only the caricature he's become, don't know why Teddy Roosevelt is there. Reading his autobiography helps bridge that gap. Roosevelt was a Progressive. We who see the world through the lens of Democrat or Republican will not readily understand what that means. In our terms, Roosevelt was a liberal
...more
Colin Darby
TR's autobiography suffers from two problems. First, the author has an exceptionally high opinion of himself and his causes, and never acknowledges the slightest possibility of error in principle even when he acknowledges that his opponents were equally high-minded men. As often as not, he lacks that acknowledgement, though, which leads to his autobiography being a series of moments where he describes his awesomeness as awesome stuff happens while he does awesome deeds because he is a man and me ...more
Marty Reeder
After reading H.W. Brands’s biography on Theodore Roosevelt, I knew that I wasn’t done with him. I needed more. And who better to go to than the horse’s mouth? At first, I simply read some of his speeches and his account of the Rough Riders, but then I found his autobiography and decided to take a big bite.

As writers go, Roosevelt is engaging. It’s comforting to be able to recognize his own style and know that you’re not dealing with a ghost writer. That brash, sincere, and self-aware voice is n
...more
Donald Owens II
Nov 21, 2016 Donald Owens II rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised at how well President Roosevelt wrote. With few exceptions, he kept my attention, and with good humor.

Like most autobiographies, the book was partly a defense of his beliefs and actions. On periphery and personal character matters I agreed, but I was not convinced by his core political views, especially his "ends justify the means" defense of government overreach and his overstepping the constitutional limits of his office.

But personally he appears to have been a courageous, li
...more
Garrett
This is an excellent volume. Roosevelt's autobiography is quite interesting, particularly how he describes his time out West as well as with the Rough Riders. It's also quite valuable because he gives an estimate of his own actions in office and defends them according to his principles. He does go into quite a bit of detail on several situations so it can be a bit dry reading at times.

Included in this volume is "The Strenuous Life" a speech T. R. gave in Chicago. Absolutely fantastic and quite
...more
Stephen Byron
Apr 23, 2015 Stephen Byron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite people, not because he was President, we had many of them ; but because what he did with the office he held.In this book it explains his feelings on all types of issues and lets us see for ourselves how he was before his time. In this book it is also written how he respected nature and it is a great read so enjoy...
Rosa Ramôa
May 15, 2015 Rosa Ramôa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"Muito melhor é arriscar coisas grandiosas para ganhar vitórias gloriosas – mesmo que estampadas pelo fracasso – do que se alinhar com aqueles espíritos pobres que nem aproveitam muito nem sofrem muito, porque vivem em uma penumbra cinzenta que não conhece nem a vitória nem a derrota".
(Theodore Roosevelt)
Jeremy
Dec 27, 2012 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of a memoir than an autobiography. While Roosevelt was a genius and a work horse it seems he couldn't get past the self aggrandizing in his writing. The book is quite inspiring and well worth the read.
Lori
Mar 24, 2009 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm about halfway through this amazing book. So far it is an amazing tale. I can't wait until I can sit down and finish it.
nichola santore
Dec 21, 2016 nichola santore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A man for our times

Much of what took place during Mr Roosevelt's term seems to me similar to the US presidential campaign for 2017-2020. I hope (soon to be) President Trump reads the book. I think he will find it invaluable.
Dustin Nichols
Feb 07, 2017 Dustin Nichols rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very informative & detailed history into one of my heroes. A true gentleman, statesman & adventurer. To see the life he lived unfolding on paper was amazing.
Jake Losh
It's difficult to even wrap my head around a man like Theodore Roosevelt. Here's a guy who went to Harvard, majored in Natural History (which I imagine is a bit akin to a modern-day Conservation Biology degree - feel free to correct me), wrote a book on Naval History, roped steers, punched out cowboys, etc. etc. It's difficult for me to imagine somebody with such a vigorous personality and I certainly haven't met anybody like him in my lifetime. It's even more difficult to imagine today a member ...more
B
Sep 25, 2013 B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, kindle
"While President I used to box with some of the aides as well as play singlestick with General Wood. After a few years I had to abandon boxing as well as wrestling for in one bout a young captain of artillery cross countered me on the eye and the blow smashed the little blood vessels. Fortunately it was my left eye but the sight has been dim ever since and if it had been the right eye I should have been entirely unable to shoot."

This is kind of a strange book because Roosevelt is practically a c
...more
Marissa
This is a treasure for the ardent Roosevelt scholar, but for the casually interested reader it got a little long. His voice strikes me as a curious mix of Mark Twain and Donald Trump --- the vocabulary and verve of Twain with the self-importance of Trump. Though granted when you are Teddy Roosevelt a little self-importance is probably well warranted. To be honest, I was more interested in his discussion of family life and bird-watching than in his political life, so that is probably most of my p ...more
Tim
Mar 04, 2015 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised at how progressive this was considering he was a Republican politician from 100 years ago. I was also surprised at how little things have changed in the political machine over the last century (and gives me some perspective next time I hear a politician promising change.) I also thought he had a very balanced and progressive view on the military, workers rights, work-life balance and *gasp* socialism.

It is an auto-biography, and he does talk very favourably of himself and his ac
...more
Jamie
Oct 20, 2011 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is no better example of a person that held so strongly to their values and principles throughout life. An inspiring advocate for people, human rights, justice, transparency, accountability and fairness. He acted boldly in fighting police corruption in NY, in revolutionizing and optimizing the US Navy, in leading his regiment in the Spanish-American war, in cementing the power of the US across the world, in acquiring and commencing construction of the Panama Canal, in negotiating an end to ...more
Fred
I liked this book because of it's detail and because I learned a lot about the man as well as historical events. I think that the best part of the book was by far and away the first 100 pages. That was the part that covered Roosevelt's youth. It's always been very interesting to me to learn about famous people like presidents not just before they were famous, but from their earliest age.

I can't say I agree with all of his policies or even his reasoning presented for them later in the book, but
...more
James
Jul 04, 2015 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teddy inspires me to be braver, more industrious and a better person. I must mention that I admire his pre-presidential achievements more than his presidential ones. I think his tremendous expansion of federal and executive power have had extended and mixed results. (but I suppose mixed results have been with almost every president)

Lots of great personal stories about facing down dangers (bad guys, animals or challenges of learning new skills), and some insights into the political concerns of th
...more
Abdullah Almuslem
Interesting in the first few chapters but becomes boring in the last few chapters as he talks about lots of internal politics which I had no interest in
Steve
Jul 26, 2012 Steve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting view of our country in the last half of the 19th century. (Admittedly from a very privileged point of view.) When did the "rugged individualist" school of thought take hold of American thought and education instead of a more community based way of thinking?

And for all his early rugged individualism, TR implemented a lot of the Progressive goals. Okay, he wasn't as progressive as LaFollette etc. but he was ahead of McKinley who he succeeded. Roosevelt's policies help hold
...more
Eric Moote
Feb 08, 2012 Eric Moote rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Teddy is a truly inspiring man for all the ages. Principled, hardworking and inspiring to those who interacted with him because of his high values and focus on the things at hand that mattered most.
From his youth to the reactions to the world after he left the Presidency, he provides a first hand account of American history during a time of physical growth, corporate over taking and founding a political empire which would long out live his life.
From the many personal contacts he recalls to the
...more
Aubrey Dustin
I loved studying Theodore Roosevelt. I read Mornings on Hourseback, his Autobiography, and The Lion's Pride in order. The nobility of this great man is very inspiring. The stands he took as a leader have greatly shaped our country. As a dabbling libertarian I am uncomfortable with many of the stances he took, but I can't help but admire some of the results. His stance on conservation and the national parks it secured for the generations to come is something in profoundly thankful for. His stance ...more
Sister Pam
Theodore Roosevelt, where are you when we need you? History repeats itself because we refuse to learn lessons from the past. The social, economic and international difficulties present today are the same difficulties experienced by Theodore Roosevelt and Americans during his presidency. President Roosevelt would be disappointed in today's political system driven by greed, immorality and disregard for the needs of society's weakest. Although birthed into a wealthy family, he believed that wealth ...more
Joey
There was a reason I waited so long to read this one. It was my 11th Theodore Roosevelt biography and, as expected, if you want an honest, level headed account of the life and times of TR, the last person you'd want to ask is the man himself. Did provide some fun insights, similar to those I had when reading a collection of his letters. The sections on the Spanish American War and on the Panama canal were my favorite. Nothing earth shattering here, but well worth a read for those amused by TR's ...more
Brian Borgford
Aug 30, 2012 Brian Borgford rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs
Good reading. Hardly a biography. Mainly personal thoughts, philosophies and observations. Missing key parts of his personal life. Although humble in his discussion of his abilities, he comes across as almost perfect, maybe saintly.

His narrative of his time in the west as a rancher gives a fascinating incite into what the cowboy life was really like.

The book often rambles and often doesn't follow a linear timeline. He is very verbose and talks more in generalities than specifics. Lots of gettin
...more
Mark Veira
Jun 27, 2014 Mark Veira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is for the most part, a thoroughly entertaining read, full of aphorisms and vivid tales of T.R's astounding resume of adventures.

As has been echoed elsewhere, I felt the first 2/3 of the book, which dealt with his childhood, his views of shaping his character, the hunting and ranch life, and his time fighting the Spanish were far more interesting that the chapters on his actual presidency, which unless you are a connoisseur of that period of American political history, will probably not fu
...more
Jason D'Souza
Teddy Roosevelt died 97 years ago and spoke of his father as, "the best man I ever knew."
Reading his autobiography, the president upon reaching the White House, "never took any serious step or made any vital decision for his country, without thinking first what position his father would have taken."
Theodore's father taught Sunday School, contributed in founding charities for homeless orphans and newsboys.
Proverbs 23:24 "He who fathers a wise son will be glad in him."
Ja Obxghost
TR definitely had a high opinion of himself but I think it was based in his thought that he was just and fighting for everyone oppressed or downtrodden. I do appreciate however that he expected the downtrodden and oppressed to be doing everything they could to help themselves at the same time.
I can think of no one that accomplished so much across such a spectrum as TR. His life was on an epic scale. This book is good in that you get it in his thoughts.
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44567
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., also known as T.R., and to the public (but never to friends and family) as Teddy, was the twenty-sixth President of the United States, and a leader of the Republican Party and of the Progressive Movement. He became the youngest President in United States history at the age of 42. He served in many roles including Governor of New York, historian, naturalist, explorer, autho ...more
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