Tom's Reviews > Colonel Roosevelt

Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
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Mar 03, 11

Read from February 11 to March 01, 2011

Edmund Morris finally finished his TR trilogy with this volume, and he does so well. Morris often writes of his subject as a mythical-seeming figure. This is easy to do for Theodore Roosevelt, but it can make the work seem less objective. Writing of one particularly egregious act in the second volume, Theodore Rex, the author seems more embarrassed by it than anything else. Morris manages to reverse the trend slightly here to great affect by portraying a TR that is perhaps a bit behind the times. He does this by doing something unseen in other volumes, simply by explaining the political genius of Roosevelt rival Woodrow Wilson. Unlike William Howard Taft, the reader gets the impression that Morris actually thinks well of Wilson, even while Roosevelt does not. Instead, Wilson comes across as a more modern thinker to TR's more 19th century romantic way of thinking (especially on the subject of war). TR is never portrayed as anything less than likeable (even Wilson says he's a likeable man), but it does seem that post presidency, time passed Theodore by and he either never quite realized it or he did and hated it. A fitting ending to a masterful trilogy, well worth the wait.
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