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The Rough Riders

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,717 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
With the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Theodore Roosevelt resigned his post as assistant secretary of the navy to recruit the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry. The legendary Rough Riders — an unlikely combination of cowboys, frontiersmen, Native Americans, African-Americans, and Ivy League alumni — trained in Texas before shipping off to Cuba. The regiment met their en ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 6th 2006 by Dover Publications (first published January 1st 1899)
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Jan 06, 2015 Cari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fact: Theodore Roosevelt was not a bad ass, he was The Bad Ass.

I suspect he was also a little bit crazy in the best possible way, as evidenced by how gleefully he describes the adventure of going to war with his group of rough-around-the-edges volunteers (also bad asses), because for him this really was just another adventure. (Further suspicion: his men--and everyone else--were probably less than thrilled, because most people don't think "war" = "yay! adventure!") To each their own.

I thorough
David Hinckley
Aug 05, 2010 David Hinckley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this short book quite a bit. There were three things that really struck me.

First, Roosevelt's approach to war was extremely interesting. It was very much an adventure to him. Although there was absolutely no need for this war, he considered it a just cause, and he openly promoted it. The war was an opportunity for men to prove their mettle, and he was proud when his men did. So it was very much an adventure, something to be celebrated in his mind. But at the same time, he didn't skimp
In the town where I live there is a major monument to the Spanish American War which I always thought was strange due to the fact that it seemed rather minor as wars go. Spain certainly did not try very hard to defend Cuba and the whole thing lasted about two weeks. Roosevelt narrates the whole affair in a way that resembles play-by-play in a football game. Every participant is described in the most glowing terms. Everyone was anxious to see action and those left behind literally cried. Lack of ...more
Tom Lowe
Mar 16, 2016 Tom Lowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written from a loose frame of notes and from memory- a photographic memory at that- this book, written by Theodore Roosevelt, is phenomenal. The amount of data and detail are amazing. Expecting our 26th president to be a bit self serving, in a military campaign in Cuba that he was a major participant in, this book has none of that. Teddy gives credit where credit is due, he downplays his own heroism, and, already regarded for his utmost honesty, gives an accurate account of the Battles of Las Gu ...more
D. Jason
Teddy Roosevelt's memoir of the less-than-six-months' existence of the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry unit formed for the sole purpose of serving in the Spanish-American War, is a breezy and entertaining read.

It is also a rather astonishing look into an alien world --- the world that used to be the United States, but is no longer.

Roosevelt was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1898. Though he doesn't make this clear in the book, he was the de facto Secretary and basically in charge of th
Mohammad Ali Abedi
Before Theodore Roosevelt became the President of the United States, he had a war experience, which was less like the soldiers in WW2 and more of a fun adventure for Roosevelt. First of all, this was probably the beginning of unnecessary wars for the United States. Each generation of American probably needs his war.

First they started fighting all those natives in the land, then they spend some time fighting the British, then when all of that was done, they decided to have some internal fighting.
Tom Kepler
Nov 11, 2012 Tom Kepler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A stereotype of the American man exists: a man of purity with a simple, straightforward manner of supporting right and opposing wrong with bravery and fortitude. There is also another side to that stereotype: a man whose simple perspective of right and wrong minimizes minorities and significant perspectives just because they don't fit into that simple world view.

I think Theodore Roosevelt and his era fit both sides of that stereotype of the American man, good and bad.

In 1898 the American governm
Jul 09, 2014 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Credit should go with the performance of duty, and not with what is very often the accident of glory." - TR

What a fun read. Much like US Grant's memoirs I felt like TR and I were having a beer and he was just matter-of-factly recounting his experiences.

I did not know that Clara Barton was there in Cuba during the war which was fought over the sinking of the Maine which, according to continuing research, was probably due to bad ship design rather than Spanish monkey business.
Todd Martin
Colonel Roosevelt
Rough Riders is Theodor Roosevelt’s account of his involvement in the Spanish-American War to liberate Cuba from Spanish control. Lieutenant-Colonel Roosevelt (serving under Colonel Leonard Wood) led the First US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment (a diverse group of cowboys, miners, hunters, gamblers and Ivy League graduates, who came to be more popularly known as the “Rough Riders”).

The story is Roosevelt’s first person account of the preparations for battle, travel to Cuba, storming of San Juan Hill
Sep 10, 2014 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This illustrated edition, I found to be a more interesting version of TR's classic telling of the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War. I read the story before, but seeing photos of the men, camps and battlefields adds to the impact of what was done during those four months so long ago. As Roosevelt writes of his men and their actions, he also writes about the other regiments that camped and fought with the Rough Riders. While TR's racism comes through at times when he writes of the 9th ...more
Pete Iseppi
Mar 12, 2015 Pete Iseppi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, Teddy was one brave, tough son of a gun for sure. This was an interesting book. I didn't know much about the war to rid Cuba of the Spaniards. I had no idea how big the battles were and how many casualties that they produced. Theodore doesn't really blow his own horn that much, which surprised me. He lets the testimonials from his commanding officers do that, by publishing all of their recommendations that he receive the Medal of Honor for his performance in an appendix. I have no problem ...more
Julian Walker
Prompted to read this slice of American history having recently enjoyed Theodore Roosevelt’s Through the Brazilian Wilderness, I was pleased with his readily engaging narrative style.

An overall enjoyable, if brief read (albeit with slightly too many lists of people), this book provides a fascinating insight into one of America’s first volunteer cavalry units which saw action in Cuba during the Spanish-American War at the end of the nineteenth century, with the pre-Presidential author as second
Richard Gartee
This book is based on a series of articles Theodore Roosevelt wrote that were published in Scribners magazine. It is interesting because it offers that rare first-hand account of an historical event from the perspective of one of the leading participants and I might say, proponents, of the Spanish American War. In his account of organizing, training, and going to war with his company of Rough Riders, we see not only what happened but get a good impression of Roosevelt's strong opinions on what h ...more
Sep 17, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned
It's easy to see why Roosevelt rose to such a height of popularity after publishing this book. The entire first third praises the wide variety of men who joined the Rough Riders, listing their various backgrounds, home regions, and skills. He often gives credit to individuals for outstanding efforts or accomplishments while minimizing his own contributions. Yet at no point does Roosevelt seem to engage in false modesty. It's obvious that he genuinely cared for the well-being of his troops. He al ...more
Mar 28, 2011 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
History as it was being made - told in a racey, contemporaneous style by one of the most interesting Americans of all time. Theodore Roosevelt, despite having already been chairman of the New York police borad and under secretary for the Navy, raised a volunteer regiment to help fight in the Spanish-American War. His cavalary troopers were christened the "Rough Riders" by the popular press and although Roosevelt initially hated the name it rapidly stuck. His re-telling of the raising of the regi ...more
Nov 29, 2009 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Truly a diarist view of a very short war. Roosevelt describes in engaging detail the campaign against Spain in Cuba as he saw it. The book details the many issues with transportation to Cuba, while in Cuba, and in leaving Cuba. It also describes a leaders' worries about supplying food to his troops and ensuring the health of his troops after battle. Roosevelt also provides details of soldiers and officers wounded and killed in action, and this is what feels most like a diary. He also discusses t ...more
Feb 08, 2012 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war-military
This is a very detailed and descriptive account written by Theodore Roosevelt himself of the military campaign of the "Rough Riders", a volunteer force headed by Lieutenant Leonard Wood and Second Lieutenant Roosevelt who were pressed into military service during the war with Spain fought in Cuba. The nation had become outraged with the blowing up of the battleship Maine in a Cuban harbor. This brought great indignation to the American people and a cry for war to drive the Spanish from the Carib ...more
Nov 12, 2008 Nickie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember learning something in school about the Rough Riders and Teddy Roosevelt. But I couldn't tell much else.

This book is about the development of the voluntary group of cowboys, farmers, college men, mountain men, and military men that make up the Rough Riders. I had no idea this group of horse riders actually fought. I just remember seeing pictures of men on horses and never thought more of it as far as I can remember.

Anyway, this little book is about the American battle against the Spani
This book was written in a style that reminded me of a play by play sports announcer. Teddy chronicles how he helped prepare men and horses by training, assembling, and transporting for war. It contained profiles of many of the men with whom he served in Cuba in the war with the Spaniards. A recurring theme was the waste, ineptitude and bureaucratic red tape of government and military leadership in Washington.

Teddy reflected the racial opinion of his day when he said "the colored soldiers behave
Oct 06, 2010 Robert rated it liked it
Shelves: history-us
Giving a vivid account of the author's participation in the Spanish-American war, this book so captivated the imagination of the American people that it got Teddy the Vice-Presidential nomination and set him on the path to Mount Rushmore. He tells this story well. Had a great gift for narrative - had a wonderful ability to create a sense of time and place. The reader feels as if he is with Teddy, experiencing these events himself - the descriptions are so vivid, the account so detailed, so "just ...more
Sep 13, 2010 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
64. Roosevelt, Theodore. ((1858-1919). THE ROUGH RIDERS. (1899). ****. This history of Roosevelt’s raising a volunteer regiment to fight in the Spanish-American War reads like a commentator’s coverage of a football game. It rates the four-star rating only because of its importance as an American document. It is quite obvious that Roosevelt approached this mission as he would have approached a yacht race. He managed to recruit over 1,000 men to form a fully volunteer force that was eager to parti ...more
Mark Fallon
Aug 08, 2012 Mark Fallon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who were the Rough Riders?

As Roosevelt explains:

All – Easterners and Westerners, Northerners and Southerners, officers and men, cowboys and college graduates, wherever they came from, and whatever their social position – possessed in common the traits of hardihood and a thirst for adventure. They were to a man born adventurers, in the old sense of the word.

At the outset of the Spanish-American War, Theodore Roosevelt and Leonard Wood were commissioned with raising, training and deploying a regim
Nelson Rosario
Apr 14, 2011 Nelson Rosario rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memory
This book was a very interesting and easy read. Former President Roosevelt tells a very vivid tale of his time during the Spanish-American War. It is easy for one to feel Roosevelt's genuineness while he takes us through the journey.

The book begins with the one-day President discussing the idea of war with Spain and the possibility of assembling a volunteer regiment. The language and way with which Roosevelt discusses war and it's supposed inevitability is indicative of the time at which he was
May 16, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent, very readable book by Roosevelt. Enjoyed it thoroughly. This book is not some self-serving account by Colonel Roosevelt to advance himself. No, it is the story of one of the most colorful units in American military history, their members' backgrounds, their valor, and their adaptibility to very tough circumstances. I've always admired the Rough Riders, and after reading this book, my esteem increased even more.

One thing that I did not realize, until reading this, is how completely
Aug 09, 2011 Breck rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Without doubt, Teddy Roosevelt is one of the most loved and most controversial/complex Americans to serve as POTUS. TR was fully a romantic, and his enthusiasm of life and thirst for adventure explode off the page in his account of the Rough Rider regiment's exploits in the Spanish-American War.

TR, like many men of his day, hungered for the opportunity to try themselves in battle as their fathers did the Civil War. These desires coupled with the belief in the necessity of American Expansionism
It was good to read if not uncomfortable how Roosevelt and most other white Americans of his time viewed other people who weren't ancestors of the Vikings as he might put it. Roosevelt in describing bis desire to rid the Western world of the Spanish colonialists, describes how he had been wanting to fight them for axlong time. Choosing to lead a Calvary through Cuba, he first uses Ivy League college men and later men from the 4 territories, Texas, New Mexico, Indian and Arizona. Roosevelt does c ...more
Douglas Dalrymple
There was a generation of boys, especially (it seems) in Britain, who watched their fathers go off to fight in the First World War and resented staying at home. Too young, perhaps, to digest the horror of it, they grew up wishing they could participate in a national/military crisis of comparable glory. When WWII came around, most of them were in their middle-thirties, almost too old to take advantage of it. (I’m thinking, for example, of Evelyn Waugh, Malcolm Muggeridge, Anthony Powell.). It fel ...more
May 30, 2013 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This simple story of Roosevelt’s action in Cuba is a story of the self-made man, courage under fire, and American diversity. There certainly some overly glamorized portions or sections that may go too far in elevating Roosevelt and his men while denigrating the input of others in the larger effort, but on the whole, the work is rather generous and fair. It is a wonderful story of action and adventure in a first person account. There is some level of honesty about the toll of war and its horrors. ...more
Sep 05, 2014 Rdt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was a big disappointment to me. I have always admired Roosevelt, and expected him to be a good writer, but this is just a tiresome self promotional tract by a man advancing his political career. He goes on and on about the bravery of his men and how great the Rough Riders were. I got tired of the lists of names and the Ivy League schools they attended. It was like the catalog of ships in the Iliad. The were moments of color that raised above once star, but just barely.
Tyler Windham
Jun 09, 2016 Tyler Windham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Theodore Roosevelt's The Rough Riders is sheer, unadulterated Americana; the story of the Spanish-American War's most decorated and remembered regiments, comprised of cowboys, lawmen, illiterate former prospectors, Cherokee Indians, Ivy League educated east-coast aristocrats, circus performers, red blooded working class southwestern "territorials", and professional sportsmen all led by Colonel Leonard Wood and his energetic and intelligible friend and , the just weeks previous Assistant Secretar ...more
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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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“It was a pleasure to deal with a man of high ideals, who scorned everything mean and base, and who possessed those robust and hardy qualities of body and mind, for the lack of which no merely negative virtue can ever atone.” 15 likes
“Credit should go with the performance of duty, and not with what is very often the accident of glory.” 4 likes
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