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Theodore Rex (Theodore Roosevelt #2)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  18,582 ratings  ·  629 reviews
The most eagerly awaited presidential biography in years, Theodore Rex is a sequel to Edmund Morris’s classic bestseller The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. It begins by following the new President (still the youngest in American history) as he comes down from Mount Marcy, New York, to take his emergency oath of office in Buffalo, one hundred years ago.

A detailed prologue des...more
Hardcover, 772 pages
Published November 20th 2001 by Random House (first published January 1st 2001)
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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...more
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
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 are...more
Joe B
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
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...more
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.

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...more
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...more
Nick Black
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
Jul 30, 2007 Erica rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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

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.
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.

Amy Johanning
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...more
Richard Needham
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
Howard Cincotta
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...more
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
Brad Lyerla
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'...more
I whole-heartedly recommend this to anyone interested in history, politics or competition of any kind.
«On the fourth of March next I shall have served three and a half years, and this three and a half years constitutes my first term. The wise custom which limits the President to two terms regards the substance and not the form. Under no circumstances will I be a candidate for or accept another nomination.»

- Theodore Roosevelt, after winning the 1904 elections

I read this book right after reading The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, and after reading a combined 1300+ pages (so far) about Theodore Roos...more
This is the second of Edmund Morris' biographical trilogy on Theodore Roosevelt. This book is well written and seems to capture the living, breathing "Teddy". I wasn't as taken by this book as the first (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt), mostly because they are both about the same length (~550 p), but the 1st covered 42 years while the second covered less than 8 years, therefore there is a lot more minutia in the 2nd book. Nevertheless, I came away with an enormous appreciation of everything that...more
Mike Hankins
This is the second of a trilogy of books that examines the life of Theodore Roosevelt. Picking up where the first, "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" left off, this book covers only the years of the Presidency. Morris' powerful language and evocative imagrey paints Roosevelt as a larger-than-life mythological hero who embodied the spirit of America. While the book is incredibly inspiring, Morris crosses the line into hagiography, lionizing Teddy into an almost unhuman folk tale in this book that h...more
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
Sep 24, 2009 Sarita rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Presidential biography types with a lot of patience
Shelves: history
So, I have finally finished this tome. So no matter what complaining I'm about to do, I didn't put it into the "too boring to continue" category....

However. !

Here are my two main complaints:

1. Fawning. Seriously, the author wants to have TR's wee tubby babies. There isn't a critical sentence in the entire book. In my opinion, part of what's fascinating about TR is the way that he exemplified some of the best of his time (engaging with John Muir and Booker T. Washington) and the worst of his clas...more
This Theodore Roosevelt biography covers the period of his Presidency and is the second in a three part series. It does an excellent job of giving the spirit of Roosevelt without glossing too lightly over his flaws. As a President he truly straddled a time when the United States began to change from an isolated country to a world player.

The novel illustrates his masterful ability to understand the electorate and his ability to get things done both as a progressive and as a conservative. His role...more
Edmund Morris has lost some of his focus in this second volume of his Roosevelt biography. While the events of Roosevelt's presidency are surveyed with brisk efficiency, the survey is broad at the expense of some substance. Often the cause and effect of Roosevelt's actions are simply chalked up to the sheer force of his personality. This strikes me as too simplistic, and it detracts from a substantive understanding of the facts of history.

Morris's control of his narrative also seems to have sli...more
Dan Walker
After reading 3 books about Theodore Roosevelt I'm still unclear how he went from being the quintissential rugged individualist to a progressive who is hailed even today by members of that movement. His speech, "the Strenuous Life," (which I read elsewhere), doesn't seem to point to government as the resource to help us lead such a life. What is clear, however, especially in this book, is that Theodore was ready to use his fiery energy, titanic intellect, and masterful political skills to bring...more
Susan  Odetta
I amazed myself by actually getting through this tome. And I enjoyed most of it and learned ALOT more than I can remember ever learning in school about the times and TR. If anyone could accurately be described as being larger than life, TR fits the description. The timing and circumstances of his presidency shaped the USA in world events, from the Panama Canal to Japan's accession as a world power. He believed in an coined the the phrase "fair deal"....for the rights of business, labor unions, a...more
Jon Barr
What a fine follow-up to "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" this turned out to be! I found the first book of this trilogy a bit too flowery (I believe the word I used was grandiloquent) for the events it was describing. In "Rex" however, Theodore is president, and the prose was perfectly ornamental.

The language of Morris is growing on me, and I look forward to reading the final volume.
Well, I think any book about a presidency is doomed to put me to sleep. Teddy was an entertaining individual, but his personality couldn't fully shine through the clouds of the public icon he was expected to be. I will say that one chapter in Theodore Rex was mindblowing- "The Black Crystal", written about Theodore's journey through the west during a campaign trail. It is the most moving chapter about Western frontier that I've ever read. It's comforting to know that a man as renowned as Teddy h...more
Edmund Morris is the quinticential and authoritative guide to Teddy. He does the presidential campaign justice, and highlights the most prominent world-changing actions of the president. I was disappointed to find less emphasis on the personality of the president, or his alternative pursuits that so decorated Morris' other account of Roosevelt's early years before the presidency. It was all about policy, political action, and achievement; and less about the ways the office affected the man and h...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
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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.” 10 likes
“Implicit in the stare of those eyes, the power of those knobbly hands, was labor's historic threat of violence against capital.” 3 likes
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