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Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,308 Ratings  ·  159 Reviews
New York State Assemblyman, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, New York City Police Commissioner, Governor of New York, Vice President and, at forty-two, the youngest President ever-in his own words, Theodore Roosevelt “rose like a rocket.” He was also a cowboy, a soldier, a historian, an intrepid explorer, and an unsurpassed environmentalist-all in all, perhaps the most acc ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by Basic Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Ulysses
May 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
Theodore Roosevelt was an original American Badass. He was an accomplished naturalist, historian, and author, but he was also a cowboy, explorer, and soldier. He won both the Medal of Honor for military valor AND the Nobel Peace Prize for almost single-handedly ending a war-- a completely absurd (and almost certainly never to be repeated again) combination. At one point, he was shot in the chest by a would-be assassin right before giving a speech, but he just went ahead and gave the speech anywa ...more
Steve
Aug 10, 2010 rated it liked it
OK short bio of Theodore Roosevelt. Too uncritical and broad most of the time, but if you want a "basics" and not have to read Ted Morgan's massive bio (already at @1,500 pp, and only 2 of proposed 3 volumes done at this time), this will fill the bill.

She spends too much time showing how Teddy was progressive when it came to women and Af-Ams. Not a major emphasis ever in his career, so don't try and make it one!

And she never provides us w/ citations for the long quotes which open each chapter.
...more
Leah
I love Teddy but this...was a little blah.
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a brief biography of Theodore Roosevelt focusing primarily on his years prior to becoming president, all he accomplished as president and finally how he spent his time in the few years remaining to him after leading his country and shaping into a world power.

Anyone born with a silver spoon in his mouth as Roosevelt did, would most likely enjoy life to the fullest, travel, hunt, marry well and pretty much make a jolly good time of his life.

That is in fact what Teddy did, but his sense of
...more
Samuel Bierig
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book! ...an even greater life!
Mal Kelly
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good overview of the life of one of the most interesting men to ever hold the office of President of the United States.
Johnb
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mp2
Overall, Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt, by Aida D. Donald, is a very informative, enjoyable read. Published on
October 23, 2007, this book focuses on the life and accomplishments of
Theodore Roosevelt. There are certainly many factors of this book
that make it worth reading. For one thing, Theodore Roosevelt’s life
is filled with action and adventure. He was certainly much more than
just the United States’ 26th president. He was a colonel and later a
commander of an elite cava
...more
Chuck Barber
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
T.R. was a remarkable man who lived a remarkable life. This book was mostly unremarkable, and feels “whitewashed” in its presentation. I suggest a longer, more complete biography, or a book that focuses on one period or aspect of his life.
Kraig
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Naturalist, zoologist, writer, politician, reformer, rancher, deputy sheriff, New York assemblyman, Police Commissioner of New York City, soldier, Governor of New York, Vice President of the United States, and President of the United States--he had all of these occupations in his lifetime. His name was Theodore Roosevelt, and in Aida D. Donald's book, "Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt," his life is vividly presented.
The book presents interesting insights into Roosevelt's c
...more
Tom
Jan 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very imprssive man and president. He was multitalented: writer, environmentalist, soldier, politician at many levels including president. He built the Panama Canal and on the Nobel Peace prize.

A good biography of a great man. See a professional review below, that says it better.

New York State Assemblyman, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, New York City Police Commissioner, Governor of New York, Vice President and, at forty-two, the youngest President ever--in his own words, Theodore Roosevelt "ro
...more
Marje
May 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
To me, a mark of a "good read" is that it ignites your interest in a subject and makes you want to read more about it. I have just completed two books about Theodore Roosevelt -- Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life & the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt by David McCullough, and Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Aida D. Donald.
Mornings on Horseback The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life & the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt by David McCullough Lion in the White House A Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Aida D. Donald
Together these two books have so ignited my interest in this complex, bigger-than-l
...more
karl
Sep 01, 2008 rated it liked it
This 260-page book on Teddy focuses mostly on his years in the white house. He was McKinley's VP elected effective early 1901, McKinley killed Septmber 1901, Teddy elected on his own effective 1905. While he stayed out 4 years, he ran again in 1912 losing to Taft in a disputed Republican convention. That led him to form a 3rd party (Progressives), but he lost to Wilson. He died in 1919.

The author paints a picture of Teddy as a modern day liberal (then "progressive"): For the common working man,
...more
Steven
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From cradle to grave Teddy Roosevelt was a remarkable individual with a tremendous capacity for learning, leading, and living. He seems to have excelled at most everything he undertook, rising quickly through the ranks.

Well known as President of the United States and was one of the "Rough Riders" in the charge up San Juan Hill, Roosevelt also was a member of the Civil Service Commission, was Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of New Yor
...more
Nelly
Nov 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
This book is a very short introduction to the life of Theodore Roosevelt. I enjoyed it but its length made it impossible to dig deeper into the fascinating life of one of our greatest presidents. It was interesting to learn of his dichotomous life. On the one hand, TR was an east coast elite, and on the other a western cowboy. He was a naturalist, a follower of Lincoln, a progressive, an accomplished author, a peacemaker, an supporter of labor over big business, a proponent of racial equality, a ...more
Moses Operandi
Jan 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book was, frankly, awful. It began with the ludicrous assumption that Theodore Roosevelt's policies eventually "found their rightful place" in the other Roosevelt's statist New Deal policies. That alone would not have set me off the book, but the grammatical errors were frankly astounding. Consider this sentence: "That he wanted to be a scientist made college necessary." Just think of one of the ten ways you could rephrase that to make it better. This is a cheap money-making ripoff of bette ...more
Rob
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Roosevelt was fascinating, despite the best efforts of the author to make this book teddyous (Oops: I mean "tedious".)
Like other biographies I have recently read, each event is treated with equal importance. I would like some more in-depth attention to significant events, and less to the mundane. Also, I found many of the authors assertions to be far too conclusory. If you think he was the most progressive President, that is fine, but back it up with something.
An enjoyable introduction to Roose
...more
Kelly
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, history
It was very informative, a good introduction to Theodore's life before, during, and after his time in the white house. I felt like I learned a lot about the man, but, at the same time, I finished the book feeling like I didn't know much of anything about the real Roosevelt. It will probably help to read some of his own books/journals/letters to really see him. It did well though, leaving me more interested than I was before.
Cwl
Feb 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
A very light and fast-moving biography. Covers lots of ground (from Roosevelt going on an animal-killing spree after a girl rejects him to his plans to make stock investment "as safe as banks" [this is before 1929, ho ho ho:]), but provides little detail. S'okay, but you could find a better TR bio.
David Fox
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: presidents
Teddy - Who Are Ya

While Donald provides a pithy summary of Teddy's legacy, it is far too lacking in anecdotal coverage. After reading it I knew what this President had accomplished, but I lacked a sense of who he really was.
Terry Robison
Feb 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Took me a while to get through this one... Seemed to ramble around quite a bit, but I did enjoy it. It just wasn't a book I couldn't put dow.
Chuck Ravetto
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I never realized what a strong leader he was!
Crystal Shelley
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
I never understood why Theodore Roosevelt was one of the Presidents featured on Mt. Rushmore until I read this book. His presidency was quite impressive as was his work in other political arenas.
Kelly
Not very well written biography on TR gives brief synopsis of his life with little or no depth. Many threads brought up about his life that are never addressed later. Disappointing.
Marilyn
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: American Republicans, high school level students in U.S. history
A brief biography of the American president (Republican-Progressive) of the first decade of the 20th century. It is, I think too brief to give the reader more than a thin coat of icing about the man and his achievements. Roosevelt was an interesting and complex man, and his presidency is very important to understanding the development of the American presidency and the history of the post-Civil War pre-1920's era in the U.S. Ms. Donald writes as a fan of TR: not entirely hagiographic, but defini ...more
Peter A.  van Tilburg
I really liked this biography. It offers a good brief overview of the life of TR. I am impressed by how far he was ahead of his time with regard several topics like: the battle for fair competition against the cartels; keeping the peace in Asia; the proposal for a league of nations as proposed also by Woodrow Wilson and realized as proposed by FDR after WWII; women voting right. His drive and honesty are really inspiring.
Mrs Donald did a good job. I also value that she did it quite complete, cov
...more
David Cavaco
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana, history
A short but exhilariting biography of President Theodore Roosevelt. His life despite his passing at sixty years of age was one fully lived and admired by many. From exploring America's West, establishing a ranch, liberating Cuba, exploration, academia and the Oval Office (1901-1909). Theodore was the definition of bravado, progress and heroism. This introductory work touches on the highlights but does not dwell into too much detail as Roosevelt did so much in his time but it definitely will stok ...more
Victor Kong
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Aida Donald captures Theodore Roosevelt from a truncated, populist angle that depicts him exactly as the popular and historical figure we know him to be. Unlike someone like David McCullough, Donald doesn't seem to want to say anything either good or bad about Roosevelt, instead hoping that its shortened summary of the man is suitable to pass judgment. This is not to say that having a specific agenda for Roosevelt would have made it a better read, but there is simply no passion or humanity that ...more
James Spurgeon
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a decent overview of the life of Theodore Roosevelt. I just felt that it could have used a little bit more detail into the events of his life. Even though this was only supposed to be a brief overview, it still could have used those details to flush things out a bit more while still keeping it short and succinct.
Nicholas Lefevre
Dec 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I rated this higher than I would for myself because it's a decent introduction to someone we all should know about. I've read a few biographies of Theodore Roosevelt and for me this one was too short and superficial. Nonetheless, it covers all of the basics. My personal favorite is Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Bully Pulpit.
Troy Solava
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
TR was such a legendary man and great president but this biography was a let down. Though short, which can be helpful, it is too concise. It leaves out too many important details and seems to rush through his life as quick as possible.
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Dr. Aida DiPace Donald, married to the two times Pulitzer Prize winner, American Historian David Herbert Donald.
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