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Theodore Rex

(Theodore Roosevelt #2)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  38,857 ratings  ·  1,025 reviews
Theodore Roosevelt and his two-term presidency (1901-9) deserve a king-size, seize-the-man biography - and Edmund Morris has provided one. "TR" typifies the "can do" American; his famous maxim, of course, was "Speak softly but carry a big stick." Morris presents eyewitness history through the voices of the makers and shakers. His exhilarating narrative will captivate ...more
Paperback, 555 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2001)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  38,857 ratings  ·  1,025 reviews

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Feb 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Theodore Rex is a meticulously researched and beautifully written biography of Theodore Roosevelt and the second book of the trilogy by Pulitzer prize-winning author, Edmund Morris, of one of our more beloved presidents. The book opens with Vice-President Roosevelt being summoned to Buffalo, New York after the assassination attempt and imminent death of President McKinley in September 1901. The book is divided into two parts, each comprising the first and second presidential administrations of ...more
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: presidents
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 ...more
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, leaders, series, bio, audible
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 ...more
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: listened-to
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
Shawn Deal
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
This, the middle book of a three book trilogy, is focused solely on Theodore Roosevelt's presidency. The book is exellent. Richly detailed in all that happened during his presidency. The book captures more than a presidency but also the man himself, his energy, his faults and his strengths. Paired with the first book, this makes a wonderful duology. However, if you are just looking to read about his presidency, this is book can just be read on its own.
Jim Cooper
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in Edmund Morris' three-book series on Roosevelt, and while the first one won the Pulitzer Prize and gets all the accolades, I found this one to be more enjoyable and considerably more fascinating.

You get to charge through the first decade of the 20th century right next to the most exciting president we've ever had. Morris illuminates big events (Panamanian independence, war between Russia and Japan) while painting you a picture of what American life and government then
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Three and a half stars. One has to have almost as much energy as Teddy himself to get through this massive history of Roosevelt's presidency. I did not enjoy it anywhere near as much as Morris's earlier book, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Rex was too often a rather dry chronology with little context or analysis of Roosevelt's place in history. Still....Bully for Teddy! He was a giant.
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
The second installment of Edmund Morris's biographical trilogy of Theodore Roosevelt. Densely written, well researched and with excellent research notes Theodore Rex is a serious piece of political biography. I'm not a slow reader, but I took my time goingg through this one.

Political biographies can be challenging for me. All the in-fighting and maneuvering can be tedious at times, but also fascinating. It just isn't fast reading for me. In some respects the book is rather old-fashioned in it's
Joe B
Oct 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant biography. IT is hard to separate my love of Morris' second Roosevelt biography from my love of TR. The book captures the dynamo-President's force, eccentricities, and political skill while also accurately capturing the politics of the time and the rise of America's global power. Occasionally, a person enters the global stage with such energy, power, competence and audacity that it seems the earth moves for them and water separates. I can only think of a couple other leaders that ...more
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook

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
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-history
In Morris’ second volume we are introduced to President Roosevelt. He is a far more seasoned and mature person than the TR described in the first volume. While still given to outbursts and instantaneous action, he displays political astuteness and an ability to balance his impulsiveness with pragmatism. No longer is TR the NY City Police Commissioner who walked the streets making sure cops were on their beats and who alienated so many New Yorkers by zealously enforcing the unpopular and widely ...more
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Theodore Roosevelt was a larger-than-life president and Theodore Rex is a Teddy-sized biography to match his presidency. The text contains 554 pages and the bibliography adds another 150 or so. And that's just to cover the (slightly less than) 8 years of Teddy's governing terms. If you're looking for a real-life story with breadth and detail, you won't go wrong here. I admit that on multiple occasions I put the book down for months at a time even though I enjoyed every chapter; all that ...more
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it

“Theodore Rex” is the second volume in Edmund Morris’s highly acclaimed three-volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt. The series’ inaugural volume debuted in 1979 but more than two decades elapsed before this second volume was published in 2001. Morris spent much of that time working on his now-infamous memoir of Ronald Reagan.

“Theodore Rex” conveniently picks up where “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” left off – with Vice President Roosevelt receiving word
Amy Johanning
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
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
Richard Needham
Jun 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been fascinated by Theodore Roosevelt since I was a kid. Morris has written a compelling biography that captures many facets of TR's complex personality, focused in this volume on his years as President. Morris has done his research, making good use of primary sources (diaries, letters, papers, memoirs) to recreate day-by-day and even hour-by-hour scenes of Roosevelt making decisions, negotiating with legislators, ambassadors, and heads of state, talking (he was a non-stop talker) with ...more
Nick Black
Oct 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 30, 2007 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Sep 26, 2015 is currently reading it
Man I wish TR would suddenly lurch back to life and stride manfully into this GOP clusterfuck that's melting poor America's brain.

So far this book is awesome! And since I'm utterly ignorant and don't know what happened in this country between about 1890 and 1929 it's especially fun, since I have no clue what will happen next... I hope they get that Nicaragua Canal built without too much trouble.
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it

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.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
As with Thomas Jefferson, it seems that Teddy has been glorified in 20th Century memory for little real reason other than his personality. His accomplishments as president can be counted on one hand. For all his ambition, next to none of it transferred into benefits for his country in any lasting way.

Like Jefferson, TR worked to change the physical United States. (Had he been president during the time of Polk, we likely would have seen Mexico and Canada as part of the American homeland—or at
Dec 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Edmund Morris's second installment of the proposed Theodore Roosevelt trilogy is a worthy follow-up to "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt." This book covers his Presidency years, from 1901 to 1909. It is a portrait of a good-natured, scrupulous patrician with progressive instincts who became the dominant politician of his age. His personal beliefs were founded on the gilded age of the late-nineteenth century, with its excesses and growing sense of America's dominant position in the world. Yet, he ...more
Ray Campbell
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
Henry James once referred to TR as Theodore Rex in describing the impression he had of being in the presence of a king when attending a banquet given by President Roosevelt. This book is the story of the Roosevelt presidency. Morris follows TR from the death of McKinley to the inauguration of Taft. Every major issue, event, piece of legislation and fight with congress is covered. Morris does a terrific job of weaving story lines so one feels as though the book is reporting current news.

Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent continuation of the first book (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt) and covers the presidential years. Personally I liked the first book somewhat better but this was still interesting and just as well done and detailed as the first. The first book made me wish I had just 1/10th the energy and stamina of the man and the second book made me realize that politics and government hasn't changed a whole lot through the years. Now on to the third book!
Alex O'Connor
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent study, looking forward to the other two in the trilogy.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel read like a report of the day to day activities and special events of Theodore Roosevelt day-to-day operations and political railings during his presidency.

It highlighted taking power after the death of the sitting president's assassination, through his re-election, the politics of the Panama Canal, the policy of the railroad and some of the federal investigations of anti-trust.

It covered his horrible decision of dismissal of Black Troops in the Brownsville fiasco to him establishing
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. This profile may contain books from multiple authors of this name.

Other authors with this name:

Edmund Morris (1804-1874)
Edmund Morris, actor, playwright, author of screenplays

Edmund Morris was a writer best known for his biographies of United States presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. Morris

Other books in the series

Theodore Roosevelt (3 books)
  • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
  • Colonel Roosevelt
“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.” 18 likes
“Implicit in the stare of those eyes, the power of those knobbly hands, was labor's historic threat of violence against capital.” 6 likes
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