The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
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The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Theodore Roosevelt #1)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  17,888 ratings  ·  908 reviews
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time
Described by the "Chicago Tribune" as "a classic," The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt stands as one of the greatest biographies of our time. The publication of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt on September 14th, 2001 marks the 100th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt becoming president.
Paperback, 960 pages
Published November 20th 2001 by Random House Trade (first published 1979)
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sckenda
My life has been saved and rebuilt by books, and this is one of those books. Though I love this story. I love it not for the typical reasons that one might be inspired by the life of President Theodore Roosevelt. My older sister bought me this book in 1981, a few days after my father died, and I read it several years later as a teen boy on a church youth ski-trip to Glorietta, New Mexico. I could not afford the rich boys’ sport of skiing, so while the rest of the group went either skiing or shop...more
Erik Graff
Sep 16, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
Having been invited by Nate and Robyn Gregory to spend two weeks with them in NW Wisconsin and having had several prior visits to the nearby town, I brought up two books for scholarly review and trusted to the Hayward animal welfare resale shop for supplementary pleasure reading. There I picked up this text and a couple of birthday gifts for a niece, expecting to make a start while still up in the north woods, but to finish it at home.

In fact, the text was so engrossing that I finished it in a f...more
Chrissie
On completion:

This was an absolutely excellent book. It gave me everything I want from a biography. It chronologically relates all aspects of Theodore Roosevelt's life up to his presidency, after President McKinley's assassination in 1901. The next in the trilogy covers his years in the Presidency: Theodore Rex. I will very soon continue with that! I was worried that it might be repetitive, having years ago read (and loved)David McCullough's Mornings on Horseback. Such a worry was unnecessary....more
Marcel
Teddy Roosevelt ranks among the most colorful characters in American history. We all have heard of the charge of Roosevelt's Raiders up San Juan Hill. But who knows that Teddy once captured a horse thief? Who knows that Roosevelt was a prolific writer, and somewhat of an expert scientist? Teddy ranks alongside characters such as Alexander the Great, George Armstong Custer and Kit Carson as people one wonders, "How did they do so much in a single life?"

Edmund Morris is one of the best writers of...more
Jim
This is one of the great biographies of all time, certainly the greatest I have ever read. Thus it is also the greatest presidential biography I have ever read, and I've read nearly thirty such volumes. This is the first volume of Edmund Morris's three-volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt, covering the years from his birth to the moment his presidency began. Never have I read such a thoroughly researched, minutely detailed, yet stirring and compelling biography. This is a book that seems to ov...more
Matt
Everyone, it seems, loves Theodore Roosevelt. He did so many things, and was so many things, in his fully-lived life, that there's an aspect of his personality that anyone - of any political persuasion - can latch onto.

A Democrat can support his love of nature, and the creation of the National Park system; Republicans can support the fact that Teddy would be more than willing to go into those National Parks and blow the hell out of whatever animal crossed his path. A Democrat can support the fa...more
Dick Gullickson
It's hard to separate my admiration for Theodore Roosevelt from my appreciation for Edmund Morris's great biography. Theodore is an unexpectedly remarkable and fascinating individual. Edmund paints a compelling picture of Teddy with his boyish enthusiasms, boundless energy, magnetic personality, odd speaking style (at least for much of his early career), and top flight intellect. Roosevelt was a committed amateur biologist who wrote one of his many books on the big game animals of the west. He w...more
Markus Molina
Firstly, I'd like to preface this review by stating, I'm really not into politics much at all and find it boring for the most part, so I can imagine more political folk enjoying this book a lot more than I did. I decided to pick up this review after my professor was discussing him in class with such pep and enthusiasm, I was compelled to read up on him.

Roosevelt is probably the most interesting man to ever run for office, in my opinion. And this book brought him to life waaay better than my pro...more
Mary Mason
I'm a fiction reader, mostly; this was one of the efforts I made at reading some non-fiction after hearing Edmund Morris in an interview on a talk radio station. He was immensely impressive--so well spoken, so literate, so knowledgeable about, it seemed, nearly everything.

The book was as good as I had hoped, full of wonderful detail of Theodore Roosevelt's personal life. This first of (3?) books by Morris on Roosevelt was on his formative years--the love of his parents, the love of his family, t...more
rmn
It is hard to believe this is not fiction. Roosevelt led an amazing childhood and early life, one that is not to be believed.

Aided by Morris' lively writing, this book follows TR from birth until just before he becomes President. It is not only a great picture of the precocious, intellectual, and multi-talented Roosevelt, but a good look at what America was like in the late 1800s and delves into alot of history that gets glossed over in school.

While this is the first book of a planned trilogy (T...more
Bethany
This book has been on my to-read list for a very long time, largely because it has so many pages and the content is incredibly dense. I finally buckled down and read it; I am immensely glad that I did. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt is a masterpiece of a biography that - though long - is never tedious. Even as larger-than-life as Roosevelt is, Morris manages to express these characteristics while maintaining Roosevelt’s humanity. I liked Roosevelt before I read this book, and now I must confess...more
Matt
TED OF ALL TRADES, MASTER OF ALL

Edmund Morris ought to consider this new title for his next revised edition of this jam-packed book, so full of information and anecdotes that the reader would surely agree to the change a short time into the literary adventure. As thorough as the beginning of this biography might be, its ease of reading entices many who might otherwise shy away from so long a tome.

As I seek to expand my knowledge of some key historical figures, I chose to tackle the three volume...more
Lauren Albert
An amazing and beautifully written biography of Roosevelt's life up to the assassination of McKinley. I read it in only a couple of days even though it is almost 800 pages. It is really that readable. Morris is magnificently evenhanded about Roosevelt and you get a vivid picture of a very real (exhaustingly real, in fact) man. I had only 2 relatively small criticisms--first, Morris seems to quote ad nauseum from people who (my quotation marks) "saw the greatness" in Roosevelt early on. Now somet...more
Cindi
Aug 31, 2009 Cindi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
I was anxious to read a biography on Theodore Roosevelt and did some research about which one to choose. Morris's work seemed the most thorough and with a length over 750 pages, I initially assumed that it covered Roosevelt's entire life. Ha! A man as exciting, ambitious, and fascinating as Theodore Roosevelt needs so much more than one volume. This tome chronicles his childhood, young adulthood and ultimately his rise to the presidency of the United States of America. Morris continues his study...more
Duane
Edmund Morris’ Pulitzer Prize winning book The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (the first of three volumes) describes the future president as a man always in motion both physically and intellectually. He was nothing less than a human dynamo, and reading his life story is exhausting. Before the age of twenty-four he graduated from Harvard, scaled the Matterhorn, published a definitive account of naval strategy during the War of 1812, was elected to the New York State assembly, and led a quixotic assau...more
Clint
Feb 12, 2012 Clint rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I'd always known Teddy Roosevelt was kind of like Davy Crockett, Charles Bronson, and set of encyclopedias wrapped up into one dude, but this book had tons of kickass details new to me. Like, he was kind of the first government official to push for an air force, 13 or 14 years before the Wright brothers even got their first plane in the air. He rounded up dangerous outlaws in the wild west, was a badass boxer, could read 2 or 3 books a day, even on a cattle drive, and the Rough Riders thing, whi...more
Ty
I started another biography after finishing this and quickly realized not many non-fiction books can be this lively and engrossing. Morris succeeds in writing a surprisingly objective profile of a very complicated figure. The best insight into Roosevelt is Morris' description of him as less a calculating politico and more of a genuine force of nature. Many who met Roosevelt dislike him, quite a few feared him, but everyone was captivated by his energy and almost gravitational personality. The be...more
Logan Lee
I marvel at the vast giftedness of Teddy Roosevelt. The man had written thirteen books by the time he was 40, including one world-renown work about naval ships when he was 22! He was basically an expert on birds before he entered Harvard, and left Harvard a widely known expert on ships. He loved the hunt, whether it be in the wild, boundless wilderness of the Dakotas (where he was also a rancher), or in the equally wild and openly corrupt political landscape of the late 19th and early 20th centu...more
Bud
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt is an outstanding biography written about one of America’s most unique personalities. As the name suggests, this is written about TR’s early life and the experiences that shaped the man.

As a child, Theodore Roosevelt overcame early physical aliments to become a man who had incredible stamina and a strong constitution.

And throughout the rest of the book, Morris portrays a man largely unaffected by his wealth who developed a voracious appetite for reading, outdoor...more
Adrienne
I always like the "rise of" biographies because that's where I feel I am in my life. I had always turned up my nose at Teddy Roosevelt but after reading this I really admire him as a great man who made the most of his life. He coped with horrible tragedy (wife and mother died within 24 hours of each other). I don't particularly agree with his politics (he didn't like Jefferson, and leaned toward the progressive/liberal side of the spectrum) but I still am grateful that he became our president an...more
David
Jun 25, 2008 David rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: bio
An incredible book about an incredible dude. Teddy has vaulted to the top of my favorite presidents list. More about the book? Its been in print for 30 or so years, and still sells well.
Having just finished this book, my curiosity is piqued to see how mature 40 year old Theodore orchestrates the office of the presidency having earned the infamous title of "madman" from a contemporary.
Nick Black
A perfect book. Contains something extraordinary on every other page, including great humor -- I laughed out loud at least twenty times reading this book, often at length. The best book I've read in at least three years, and perhaps longer.
---
Amazon, 2008-10-13
Mariam
I whole-heartedly recommend this to anyone interested in history, politics or competition of any kind.
Martin
Before starting this book, I knew next to nothing about this great man. I'd just read The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century and its short passages about TR made me eager to learn more about him. I was planning on reading Theodore Rex, but then I found out that book was actually the second book in a trilogy of TR biographies, so I figured I should start at the beginning.

TR fast became one of my all-time favourite persons, someone I very m...more
Richard
This is one of the best presidential biographies you'll ever read. It doesn't hurt that the subject was the most physically active and one of the most intellectually curious individuals to hold that office. "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" is the first of a proposed trilogy spanning Roosevelt's life. Based on the favorably critical reception this book received upon publication, Ronald Reagan requested Morris to write his biography. The result, "Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan", published in 199...more
David S.
I've always wanted to read a bio about this president. Mostly, because I couldn't believe some of the stories (fables, myths) he was known for. The one about chasing down a thief for hundreds of miles, while STILL reading a copy of Anna Karenina!! is a personal favourite. And, people still whine that they don't have time to read?.... Pure Legend!

And, that is what he was. A legend. The man was nothing short of incredible. And, this story only deals with him before he became president. The next...more
Mark
Mar 27, 2013 Mark rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in US History or Biographies
Wow! What an amazing man! This biography covers the first 42 years of Roosevelt's life; from his sickly, asthma riddled childhood to his determined physical transformation as a teenager to his magna cum laude graduation from Harvard (having already published one of the more than 35 books he would write in his lifetime). From his graduation until he became the President of the United States at age 42 (the youngest ever) and the point at which the book ends, he had served two terms as a New York s...more
Mark Roth
This book covers the early life of Theodore Roosevelt, America's 26th president, from his birth until he becomes president. It is the first part of a three-part biography.

Roosevelt was an extremely fascinating man. Before reading this book, I already knew that he was a larger-than-life character, but I had not realized how diverse his accomplishments were. He wrote a number of books on a wide degree of topics, ranging from a definitive history of the naval war of 1812 to books about the American...more
Jim
One of the best biographies of half a life that I've ever read. It covers Roosevelt’s life from birth to the point where he is told that McKinley has died and he (Roosevelt) is President.

In reading this, I was again amazed that one man was able to pack in so much activity into a single life. A list of the achievements is worth repeating: State legislator, cowboy rancher, police commissioner, social reformer, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, amateur boxer, war hero, governor, vice president, you...more
Chris
How does a madman become president of the United States? A man that didn’t even want to be president? It might suffice to say that fin-de-seile America was mad itself, burgeoning after the Reconstruction and the manic frenzy of invention. America was young, beautiful, talented and ambitious; a teenager that knew where it was going and didn’t show any signs of restraint. Theodore Roosevelt’s eccentric zeal brought out the embodiment of these traits, and with a little luck, that magic wand of dest...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
More about Edmund Morris...
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“In the tired hand of a dying man, Theodore Senior had written: "The 'Machine politicians' have shown their colors... I feel sorry for the country however as it shows the power of partisan politicians who think of nothing higher than their own interests, and I feel for your future. We cannot stand so corrupt a government for any great length of time.” 5 likes
“Wall Street billionaires are predicting that Roosevelt-style railroad rate regulation will sooner or later bring about financial catastrophe. [ca. 1906]” 1 likes
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