Dick Gullickson's Reviews > The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
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's review
Sep 11, 2011

it was amazing
Read in June, 2011

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 wrote a number of biographies of political figures emphasizing his own theory of manifest destiny for America. Teddy could knock out a book in a few months -- with his photographic memory he remembered everything he read and could synthesize that information and dictate a manuscript without slowing to consult his notes. This same intellect made him a formidable raconteur and dinner table conversationalist. He was known for inviting experts on history, philosophy, religion, or science to dinner and then dominating the conversation by telling his guest all about the area of his guest's specialty. (But the favorable impression left by so much knowledge was probably somewhat tarnished by his inability to pause and listen). Roosevelt's eastern "dude" image was softened by his cowboy status having been a deputy sheriff in North Dakota and bringing three desperados to justice. His one unsuccessful attempt at business (at least financially, he had a great time doing it), was establishing a cattle ranch near Dickinson, ND, where Janie once taught school. He led his cowboy rough riders regiment in the Spanish American War and almost won the congressional medal of honor for leading the charge up San Juan Hill. By the way, as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he did more than almost anyone (with the possible exception of the Spanish) to trigger the Spanish American War.

This is the best book I have read this year. And maybe last year, too.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Jane (new)

Jane I was fascinated by the parts I listened to in the car while riding with you. Amazing man! I'm sorry I missed all the parts about his wives and family.

message 2: by Barner (new)

Barner Dick,, I just printed your review of this ook to give to my neighbor Ruth (where you stayed last susmmer). She LOVES T. Roosevelt.

message 3: by Bobbi (new)

Bobbi Woods Loved this review! Teddy sounds very "Jeffersonian!"

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