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Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt
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Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  598 ratings  ·  93 reviews
New York State Assemblyman, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, New York City Police Commissioner, Governor of New York, Vice President and, at forty-two, the youngest President ever-in his own words, Theodore Roosevelt “rose like a rocket.” He was also a cowboy, a soldier, a historian, an intrepid explorer, and an unsurpassed environmentalist-all in all, perhaps the most acc ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by Basic Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Ulysses
Theodore Roosevelt was an original American Badass. He was an accomplished naturalist, historian, and author, but he was also a cowboy, explorer, and soldier. He won both the Medal of Honor for military valor AND the Nobel Peace Prize for almost single-handedly ending a war-- a completely absurd (and almost certainly never to be repeated again) combination. At one point, he was shot in the chest by a would-be assassin right before giving a speech, but he just went ahead and gave the speech anywa ...more
Steve
OK short bio of Theodore Roosevelt. Too uncritical and broad most of the time, but if you want a "basics" and not have to read Ted Morgan's massive bio (already at @1,500 pp, and only 2 of proposed 3 volumes done at this time), this will fill the bill.

She spends too much time showing how Teddy was progressive when it came to women and Af-Ams. Not a major emphasis ever in his career, so don't try and make it one!

And she never provides us w/ citations for the long quotes which open each chapter.
...more
Nelly
This book is a very short introduction to the life of Theodore Roosevelt. I enjoyed it but its length made it impossible to dig deeper into the fascinating life of one of our greatest presidents. It was interesting to learn of his dichotomous life. On the one hand, TR was an east coast elite, and on the other a western cowboy. He was a naturalist, a follower of Lincoln, a progressive, an accomplished author, a peacemaker, an supporter of labor over big business, a proponent of racial equality, a ...more
Tom
Very imprssive man and president. He was multitalented: writer, environmentalist, soldier, politician at many levels including president. He built the Panama Canal and on the Nobel Peace prize.

A good biography of a great man. See a professional review below, that says it better.

New York State Assemblyman, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, New York City Police Commissioner, Governor of New York, Vice President and, at forty-two, the youngest President ever--in his own words, Theodore Roosevelt "ro
...more
Johnb
Jan 10, 2012 Johnb rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: mp2
Overall, Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt, by Aida D. Donald, is a very informative, enjoyable read. Published on
October 23, 2007, this book focuses on the life and accomplishments of
Theodore Roosevelt. There are certainly many factors of this book
that make it worth reading. For one thing, Theodore Roosevelt’s life
is filled with action and adventure. He was certainly much more than
just the United States’ 26th president. He was a colonel and later a
commander of an elite cava
...more
karl
This 260-page book on Teddy focuses mostly on his years in the white house. He was McKinley's VP elected effective early 1901, McKinley killed Septmber 1901, Teddy elected on his own effective 1905. While he stayed out 4 years, he ran again in 1912 losing to Taft in a disputed Republican convention. That led him to form a 3rd party (Progressives), but he lost to Wilson. He died in 1919.

The author paints a picture of Teddy as a modern day liberal (then "progressive"): For the common working man,
...more
Kraig
Naturalist, zoologist, writer, politician, reformer, rancher, deputy sheriff, New York assemblyman, Police Commissioner of New York City, soldier, Governor of New York, Vice President of the United States, and President of the United States--he had all of these occupations in his lifetime. His name was Theodore Roosevelt, and in Aida D. Donald's book, "Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt," his life is vividly presented.
The book presents interesting insights into Roosevelt's c
...more
Marje
To me, a mark of a "good read" is that it ignites your interest in a subject and makes you want to read more about it. I have just completed two books about Theodore Roosevelt -- Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life & the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt by David McCullough, and Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Aida D. Donald.
Mornings on Horseback  The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life & the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt by David McCullough Lion in the White House  A Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Aida D. Donald
Together these two books have so ignited my interest in this complex, bigger-than-l
...more
Moses Operandi
This book was, frankly, awful. It began with the ludicrous assumption that Theodore Roosevelt's policies eventually "found their rightful place" in the other Roosevelt's statist New Deal policies. That alone would not have set me off the book, but the grammatical errors were frankly astounding. Consider this sentence: "That he wanted to be a scientist made college necessary." Just think of one of the ten ways you could rephrase that to make it better. This is a cheap money-making ripoff of bette ...more
Rob Weeks
Roosevelt was fascinating, despite the best efforts of the author to make this book teddyous (Oops: I mean "tedious".)
Like other biographies I have recently read, each event is treated with equal importance. I would like some more in-depth attention to significant events, and less to the mundane. Also, I found many of the authors assertions to be far too conclusory. If you think he was the most progressive President, that is fine, but back it up with something.
An enjoyable introduction to Roose
...more
Hanno Phoenicia
This short biography was written by the wife of the eminent biographer, David Herbert Donald. I enjoyed this summary of the life of Teddy Roosevelt, which, despite the title, covered all of his life. The book moves over his energetic and risk taking accomplishments, his triumphs and strengths, his enemies and later, his disappointments and decline. Family life is also discussed at length.

This was an amazing and diverse historic figure, one of the most towering ones in American history.

(warning
...more
Carol
Excellent biography! I am so grateful to have read this biography -- I just love Teddy Roosevelt! He was truly an amazing individual. As a child "Teedie" admired his strong, protective father, and he strove to emulate him as an alpha male. "Teedie" developed into a son who always wanted to please his father. He set high expectations for himself and never wavered in his pursuit of praise from his father. His father was pious Presbyterian (he joined his wife's faith) whose purpose was to help the ...more
Kelly
Aug 07, 2012 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
It was very informative, a good introduction to Theodore's life before, during, and after his time in the white house. I felt like I learned a lot about the man, but, at the same time, I finished the book feeling like I didn't know much of anything about the real Roosevelt. It will probably help to read some of his own books/journals/letters to really see him. It did well though, leaving me more interested than I was before.
Cwl
A very light and fast-moving biography. Covers lots of ground (from Roosevelt going on an animal-killing spree after a girl rejects him to his plans to make stock investment "as safe as banks" [this is before 1929, ho ho ho:]), but provides little detail. S'okay, but you could find a better TR bio.
David Fox
Teddy - Who Are Ya

While Donald provides a pithy summary of Teddy's legacy, it is far too lacking in anecdotal coverage. After reading it I knew what this President had accomplished, but I lacked a sense of who he really was.
Crystal Shelley
I never understood why Theodore Roosevelt was one of the Presidents featured on Mt. Rushmore until I read this book. His presidency was quite impressive as was his work in other political arenas.
Kelly
Not very well written biography on TR gives brief synopsis of his life with little or no depth. Many threads brought up about his life that are never addressed later. Disappointing.
Chuck Ravetto
I never realized what a strong leader he was!
Zachary
The Lion in the White House by Aida D. Donald is an extremely interesting and honorable account of the life of Theodore Roosevelt the 26th president of the United States. Roosevelt deemed the "accidental" president due to him coming to power through an assassination;however,it is my belief that the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt was enormously beneficial to the social, environmental,economic, and military endeavors of the United States.

The book outlays the life of the main character Theodore
...more
Ty Morris
I thought that this book was okay, but not extremely wonderful. The author did do a great job stating facts, which I believe was the main purpose of this book. Although there were many good facts, there was not much of a "story line," which made the book a little choppy. The theme of this book would be courage, because Roosevelt worked hard no matter what the conditions of each situation. The author did a fairly good job of giving examples of Roosevelt being courageous in order to prove the them ...more
Abby B
Jan 17, 2013 Abby B added it
Theodore Roosevelt was a man of many exceptional talents and accomplishments. From being a record-breaking assemblyman of New York to creating the first national monument, Roosevelt's dedication for what we believed was both memorable and honorable. His work as a Progressive truly inspired me to stand up for myself and I find him a very interesting historical figure.
The author, Aida D. Donald, allowed me to really comprehend and decipher his choices and how his life was by including a lot of i
...more
Jeff
Good book about Teddy. He can be credited for 3 great accomplishments during his Presidency. One was seeing through the completion of the Panama Canal. The 2nd was setting aside federal lands to preserve nature and wildlife. And lastly his tireless work to rebuild the American Naval forces.

He did help break up trusts and demanded the rich pay their fair share of taxes. But I think his views on taxation and economics were far to progressive for my taste. He wasn't popular at all with Conservative
...more
Brian
At only 265 pages, this was a relatively quick read that refreshed my memory of the life of Teddy Roosevelt. The book recounted his life as a reform politician, the most successful of the reformers who battled with the status quo politicians at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th Century in the United States. Among the things I learned about TR were his real heroism in fighting the Spanish on the island of Cuba in the Spanish-American War. Prior to reading this book, I was under the mi ...more
Kara
At long last, I have finished this biography. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't call it the definitive work on his life. Anyone can tell that by the short length of it alone.

I feel as if "The River of Doubt" my link text was a better book if only about a very short period of his life. It captured the intensity of that journey and was very well-researched.

This book was also well-researched as the author herself stated in the Acknowledgements section. I got this at a bargain price and was looking forw
...more
Carrie
I loved learning about Theodore Roosevelt. He was such an amazing president and stood for what he believed to be right despite public opinion and despite counteractions of his party and Congress. He achieved so much in so little time. I really wish the president(s) of today would review his life and Abraham Lincoln's and apply their philosophies today. I loved Teddy's philosophy of "speak softly but carry a big stick." He built our navy up to become what it is today in order that we would milita ...more
Brad
This is a short biography on TR. Any attempt to sum a life as full, complex and multifaceted as TR's in less than 300 pages will ultimately leave the reader unsatisfied. In keeping to the authors objective, it necessarily glosses over many of the details of his full and active life. Still, for a short primer on his life, this book works. Certainly, it instills an appreciation for the man and his presidency and it leaves the reader with the desire to learn more of this important figure. The prose ...more
Msimon6986
Wish I could find more presidential biographies like this. Saw a reviewer refer to this as a "Cliff Notes version" of his life ... and that's actually what this was ... but it made it much more accessible to me than an 800-page play-by-play account. And it hit on the good and the bad enough to suit me.
Phillip
This was more of a Cliff's Notes version of a T.R. biography but it was still informative. I had not read a T.R. biography before, but I would have enjoyed some more information about his presidency in his book. The author does a good job of explaining his early life and entering New York politics. I definitely came away with a better appreciation of the Roosevelt Administration, and how many progressive accomplishments that we enjoy today began then. He certainly helped create the "modern" pres ...more
Steven
From cradle to grave Teddy Roosevelt was a remarkable individual with a tremendous capacity for learning, leading, and living. He seems to have excelled at most everything he undertook, rising quickly through the ranks.

Well known as President of the United States and was one of the "Rough Riders" in the charge up San Juan Hill, Roosevelt also was a member of the Civil Service Commission, was Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of New Yor
...more
Kirstie
The book is a basic overview, but what I couldn't stand about the book was the way the author portrayed Roosevelt as a saint who could do nothing wrong. The book was borderline hero worship. She made every possible fault into a saint-like quality which I couldn't buy.
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Dr. Aida DiPace Donald, married to the two times Pulitzer Prize winner, American Historian David Herbert Donald.
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