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Theodore Rex (Theodore Roosevelt #2)

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  27,026 Ratings  ·  790 Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Theodore Roosevelt and his two-term presidency (1901-9) deserve a king-size, seize-the-man biography -- and Edmund Morris has provided one. "TR" typifies the "can do" American; his famous maxim, of course, was "Speak softly but carry a big stick." Morris presents eyewitness history through the voices of the makers and shakers. His exhilarating
Paperback, 772 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 26, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it
We are in the dregs of December. Soon we will experience the long dark of January, the utter waste of February, and the vindictiveness of March. And then it will probably rain. It’s a time of year meant for misery. The weather is cold and gray; you didn't get what you wanted for Christmas; you’re broke; and you probably gained fifteen pounds. Want to feel a little worse? Read a book about Theodore Roosevelt.

While your life is spent sunk into an overstuffed couch, drinking cheap domestic beer wh
Apr 30, 2015 Arminius rated it it was amazing
Shelves: presidents
The book is an excellent account of the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. Based on this book I can see why he is often rated a top rate president. The book starts at the assassination of President McKinley where Theodore, as McKinley’s vice president, was unexpectedly thrust into the country’s most important job. Theodore justifiably became concerned about being an assassin’s automatic target as the nation’s leader. His father’s hero Abraham Lincoln as well as President James Garfield (who was a ...more
Jun 26, 2013 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio, usa, audible, series, leaders
Theodore Roosevelt – what a guy!!! A whirlwind . A remarkable individual way, way, way ahead of his time. I recommend reading this book to those of you interested in all the details of his presidency AND to those of you who like reading about exceptional human beings. I cannot think of any other person at all similar. You must of course start with the first book of the trilogy: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. This is the second, and I am off to read the third: Colonel Roosevelt. I know they ar ...more
Mar 17, 2016 Hana rated it really liked it
Three and a half stars. One has to have almost as much energy as Teddy himself to get through this massive history of Roosevelt's presidency. I did not enjoy it anywhere near as much as Morris's earlier book, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Rex was too often a rather dry chronology with little context or analysis of Roosevelt's place in history. Still....Bully for Teddy! He was a giant.
Mar 16, 2016 Checkman rated it really liked it
The second installment of Edmund Morris's biographical trilogy of Theodore Roosevelt. Densely written, well researched and with excellent research notes Theodore Rex is a serious piece of political biography. I'm not a slow reader, but I took my time goingg through this one.

Political biographies can be challenging for me. All the in-fighting and maneuvering can be tedious at times, but also fascinating. It just isn't fast reading for me. In some respects the book is rather old-fashioned in it's
Jan 11, 2014 Joe rated it liked it
Shelves: listened-to
Ol' Teddy Roosevelt. One of two Republicans that it is okay for liberals to like (the other is Abraham Lincoln of course. Who did you think I was talking about? Rutherford B. Hayes?)

I've always liked this guy because of the snippets of history you hear about him: "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Big game hunter. Conservationist. Great public speaker. Teddy Bear.

I feel like I've grown up listening to his "Greatest Hits" and this is the first time I've actually sat down to listen to all of hi
May 22, 2015 Max rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-history
In Morris’ second volume we are introduced to President Roosevelt. He is a far more seasoned and mature person than the TR described in the first volume. While still given to outbursts and instantaneous action, he displays political astuteness and an ability to balance his impulsiveness with pragmatism. No longer is TR the NY City Police Commissioner who walked the streets making sure cops were on their beats and who alienated so many New Yorkers by zealously enforcing the unpopular and widely d ...more
Joe B
Oct 23, 2009 Joe B rated it really liked it
I simply learned that TR was a bad ass, plain and simple. I am sorry, Obama, Clinton, and Bush, this guy makes you look like the janitor of America. I think he may be the only president who could help us open the greatest canal in the world's history, help thwart a recession (very similar to ours today) by telling the rich people, "Hey you like making money? Then you save Wall Street, not the government!", create the greatest group of fighters, The rough riders, and have many life stories such a ...more
Oct 25, 2015 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing
A brilliant biography. IT is hard to separate my love of Morris' second Roosevelt biography from my love of TR. The book captures the dynamo-President's force, eccentricities, and political skill while also accurately capturing the politics of the time and the rise of America's global power. Occasionally, a person enters the global stage with such energy, power, competence and audacity that it seems the earth moves for them and water separates. I can only think of a couple other leaders that cap ...more
Jan 31, 2008 Atchisson rated it really liked it
My second favorite President. Reading this, you may be struck at how he would be skewered by the Left today. Like Reagan, he seemed to have a natural understanding of his age and the important issues that needed to be addressed. He did it with strength, courage, resolve, and charisma. This book does a great job of following him from the earliest hours of assuming office and then staring down some of his most important battles.
Mar 25, 2014 Matt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook

Morris places this African proverb at Roosevelt's feet in this second volume of the biography, and aptly so. President Roosevelt, who began using the phrase just before entering the White House, turned it into his mantra and he shifted the view of the United States, both within the borders of its territory and amongst the international community.

The ongoing expansion of my knowledge of historical figures has me tackling the presidential period of Roosevelt's life
Mar 01, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it

“Theodore Rex” is the second volume in Edmund Morris’s highly acclaimed three-volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt. The series’ inaugural volume debuted in 1979 but more than two decades elapsed before this second volume was published in 2001. Morris spent much of that time working on his now-infamous memoir of Ronald Reagan.

“Theodore Rex” conveniently picks up where “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” left off – with Vice President Roosevelt receiving word
Jan 05, 2009 Dave rated it it was amazing
Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris from Modern Library is the second in a three volume biography of the 26th President of the United States. The first volume The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography in 1980, setting high expectations for the rest of the series. In my opinion, this book easily meets those expectations. This is a fantastic biography, in which Mr. Morris does an excellent job of bringing Theodore Roosevelt's presidency to life.
This prologue of
Amy Johanning
Jan 21, 2011 Amy Johanning rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
I read this book primarily to get a different perspective of Theodore Roosevelt than that provided by James Bradley in his work, The Imperial Cruise: A True Story of Empire and War. In the latter, the author left a stinging picture of TR, describing him as an egomaniac, racist and staunch xenophobe. Morris's portrait is less striking - and portrays a strong, fair and popular leader who vacillated between conservative and progressive political opinions.

The dichotomy between the two accounts must
Jul 30, 2007 Erica rated it liked it
Recommends it for: US history buffs
All biographers should be this passionate about their subjects. Morris paints a detailed portrait of a tumultuous presidency with compassion and verve. At times, however, the book falls into melodrama (not that TR wasn't a character worthy of it) and amounts to a biographical blow job. While I admire the depth of research that is so evident, some glossing over faults and aggrandizing go down in Theodore Rex that made me scowl. I mean, the title sort of says it all. Well-written, but over the top ...more
Jul 25, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing
I've been fascinated by Theodore Roosevelt since I was a kid. Morris has written a compelling biography that captures many facets of TR's complex personality, focused in this volume on his years as President. Morris has done his research, making good use of primary sources (diaries, letters, papers, memoirs) to recreate day-by-day and even hour-by-hour scenes of Roosevelt making decisions, negotiating with legislators, ambassadors, and heads of state, talking (he was a non-stop talker) with frie ...more
Apr 17, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it

The book, the subject, the author, the research, the story, the effects of this administration, the depth of the errors when errors were made, the president-congress battles, the sheer amount of interesting things one learns while reading this book -- all are mighty.
May 23, 2015 Richard rated it it was amazing
Edmund Morris's second installment of the proposed Theodore Roosevelt trilogy is a worthy follow-up to "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt." This book covers his Presidency years, from 1901 to 1909. It is a portrait of a good-natured, scrupulous patrician with progressive instincts who became the dominant politician of his age. His personal beliefs were founded on the gilded age of the late-nineteenth century, with its excesses and growing sense of America's dominant position in the world. Yet, he r ...more
Richard Needham
Jul 16, 2009 Richard Needham rated it it was amazing
Although it took me nearly a year to finish this book, it is no fault of the author: from the moment of TR's assumption of the Presidency following McKinley's assasination (the account of which really drew me in) until the end of the second term, Edmund Morris not only gives a detailed account of Roosevelt's presidency (oh, now I see why he joins Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln on Mt. Rushmore), but of his personal life and the times in which he lived. He was a fitness fanatic, constantly inj ...more
Apr 12, 2016 Matt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, 2013-reads
Edmund Morris begins Theodore Rex, the second installment of his biographical trilogy, within hours of where he ended of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. The prologue shows Roosevelt's journey first to Buffalo then escorting his slain predecessor's body to Washington for a public memorial. Morris transitions to the main text of the biography when Roosevelt's main duty as President changes from "Chief Mourner" to Chief Executive, and the book then be divided in two corresponding to Roosevelt's two ...more
Nick Black
Oct 15, 2013 Nick Black rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
not as good as the first book in the trilogy (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt), but then it's hard to imagine how that would be possible. less punch-out narrative here, likely because even so ursine a character as the Knickerbocker can't get away as President with all the roughhousing of a free citizen, l'outrance qui est dans sa nature notwithstanding. there's also a wider cast of characters here, despite fewer pages; they tend to enter, drive disparate drama for a score of pages, and leave. i w ...more
Howard Cincotta
May 26, 2014 Howard Cincotta rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Nothing can match exhilaration of Morris's first volume in this series, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt," if only because the material here is politics and domestic life instead of the almost unbelievable adventure story of Roosevelt's youth and early adulthood.

Morris opts for an intense close-up of Roosevelt as president here, and he captures the texture of the time in a way few writers have achieved. But at a price: Morris rately steps back to provide any extended discussion about the broader s
Jan 25, 2016 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theodore Rex, the second in a three book set, tells the story of the presidency of Teddy Roosevelt. While most of the exciting adventure stories from TR’s life are left for the two adjoining volumes, there is much to enjoy here. These pages tell of his great accomplishments, ranging from the construction of the Panama Canal, adding numerous National Parks, and becoming the trust buster. The reader will also enjoy discovering his lesser known foreign policy deeds, including receiving the Nobel Pe ...more
Dec 08, 2014 Nora rated it liked it
I hovered between 3 and 4 stars on this one. It was good, but it was also pretty slow. And I found the way he glossed over certain events very disconcerting. I know for the sake of making a book he's not going to be able to include every thing, but there were a few times when a throwaway parenthetical or aside contained pretty pivotal information. Also found the focus on Alice Roosevelt to be a little weird. Just the tone of it. Authordude was really obsessed with her figure at a couple points.

Jul 25, 2012 Clint rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Recommended for all Teddy fanboys like myself. The writing was kind of the same as in the first volume, which was written about 20 years earlier, I think. The thing holding this book back was mostly the subject matter, which covers the presidency only. Teddy was doing lots and lots and lots of shit during this time, but a pretty good deal of it was pretty dry shit, pushing bills and signing things. I will, however, be getting Colonel Roosevelt soon.

One more thing, WHY do people see him as a cons
Chris Schotzko
Jan 27, 2015 Chris Schotzko rated it liked it
Theodore Rex is an intriguing biography that captures Teddy Roosevelt’s time as President. Providing insight into how he helped shape the country as well as changed the role of government. With the subject of man who in deed and opinion, never seemed to fatigue. I find it challenging to conceive a biography about him bogging down… However, Edmund Morris finds a way. To me, some of the superfluous detail and needless anecdotes slows the pace enough to wish for the end.
Nov 14, 2014 Bob rated it really liked it
Theodore Rex is the second volume in Edmund Morris's three volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt and covers his presidential years. Once again, I found the reading, in Teddy's favorite expression, a "dee-light"! What stands out most to me in reading this portion of Roosevelt's biography is that from the moment of his ascension to the Presidency following the assassination of McKinley, here was someone "dee-lighted" to be in the office and to exercise (and expand) its powers in the pursuit of hi ...more
Brad Lyerla
Apr 16, 2014 Brad Lyerla rated it really liked it
THEODORE REX is Edmund Morris' biography of Teddy Roosevelt's seven and one-half years as President of the United States. One might describe it as the sequel to Morris' THE RISE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT or the second volume of Morris' Roosevelt trilogy which concludes with COLONEL ROOSEVELT, a book that I have not read.

THEODORE REX is worthwhile and, while not great enough to inspire me to write a fuller review, I recommend it to anyone with an interest in US history.

I also enjoyed some of Morris'
Beth Cato
Dec 06, 2015 Beth Cato rated it it was amazing
Like the first book in Morris's series, this volume is massive. It may be a long and slow read, but it's absolutely fascinating--an intimate portrait of a complex yet brilliant man. This covers his terms as president, beginning with McKinley's assassination and ending with Taft ascending to office. Roosevelt made many grand strides in conservation, diplomacy, and establishing America's Navy, but nothing is ever in black or white. I had no idea of the drama that went into the Panama Canal, comple ...more
Aaron Million
Jul 10, 2015 Aaron Million rated it it was amazing
Volume II of Morris' trilogy, and another excellent book. This one picks up with him receiving word while in rural upstate New York that William McKinley has just died, thereby he has now become President. The entire book feels like a whirlwind journey through Roosevelt's presidency as Morris takes us deep into Roosevelt's thinking on many matters: the Panama Canal, trust-busting, food and drug reform, his tireless advocacy for forest preserves and national parks, mediator in the Russo-Japanese ...more
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Edmund Morris is a writer best known for his biographies of United States presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. Morris received his early education in Kenya after which he attended Rhodes University in South Africa. He worked as an advertising copywriter in London before emigrating to the United States in 1968.
His biography The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt won the Pulitzer Prize and Natio
More about Edmund Morris...

Other Books in the Series

Theodore Roosevelt (4 books)
  • Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy
  • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
  • Colonel Roosevelt

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“Yet there was no doubt that Theodore Roosevelt was peculiarly qualified to be President of all the people. Few, if any Americans could match the breadth of his intellect and the strength of his character. A random survey of his achievements might show him mastering German, French, and the contrasted dialects of Harvard and Dakota Territory; assembling fossil skeletons with paleontological skill; fighting for an amateur boxing championship; transcribing birdsong into a private system of phonetics; chasing boat thieves with a star on his breast and Tolstoy in his pocket; founding a finance club, a stockmen's association, and a hunting-conservation society; reading some twenty thousand books and writing fifteen of his own; climbing the Matterhorn; promulgating a flying machine; and becoming a world authority on North American game mammals. If the sum of all these facets of experience added up to more than a geometric whole - implying excess construction somewhere, planes piling upon planes - then only he, presumably, could view the polygon entire.” 12 likes
“Implicit in the stare of those eyes, the power of those knobbly hands, was labor's historic threat of violence against capital.” 4 likes
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