Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” as Want to Read:
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

(Theodore Roosevelt #1)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  34,395 ratings  ·  1,549 reviews
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

Described by the Chicago Tribune as "a classic," The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt stands as one of the greatest biographies of our time. The publication of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt on September 14th, 2001 marks the 100th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt becoming president.
Paperback, 780 pages
Published November 20th 2001 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 1979)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Matt Goncalves It is a long book, about 780 pages. It took me about 7 months to get through

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  34,395 ratings  ·  1,549 reviews

Sort order
Luís C.
'Colonel Roosevelt,' which takes its title from Roosevelt's favourite way of being addressed during his emeritus years, follows the African Journey with Mr. Morris's characteristic care. He uses primary sources, sometimes even rough drafts of letters and documents, and goes well beyond Roosevelt's own writing - which is exhausting even to contemplate, since he once claimed that he wrote between 100,000 and 150,000 letters a year.


The close attention in detail in 'Colonel Roosevelt' also exte
I can't remember the last time I was so glad to have finished a book. Clearly, this is an award-winning work with lots of glowing reviews. From about the middle of the book on, it was a slog to get through. I won't say the book itself is bad, as it was meticulously researched and written. I think it's more a case of what I was expecting, and what I instead got from this that caused the problem.

What I expected:

1. I wanted to know TR as a human being: personal, professional, spiritual, social.

On completion:

This was an absolutely excellent book. It gave me everything I want from a biography. It chronologically relates all aspects of Theodore Roosevelt's life up to his presidency, after President McKinley's assassination in 1901. The next in the trilogy covers his years in the Presidency: Theodore Rex. I will very soon continue with that! I was worried that it might be repetitive, having years ago read (and loved)David McCullough's Mornings on Horseback. Such a worry was unnecessary.
Feb 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Everyone, it seems, loves Theodore Roosevelt. He did so many things, and was so many things, in his fully-lived life, that there's an aspect of his personality that anyone - of any political persuasion - can latch onto.

A Democrat can support his love of nature, and the creation of the National Park system; Republicans can support the fact that Teddy would be more than willing to go into those National Parks and blow the hell out of whatever animal crossed his path. A Democrat can support the fa
Erik Graff
Aug 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
Having been invited by Nate and Robyn Gregory to spend two weeks with them in NW Wisconsin and having had several prior visits to the nearby town, I brought up two books for scholarly review and trusted to the Hayward animal welfare resale shop for supplementary pleasure reading. There I picked up this text and a couple of birthday gifts for a niece, expecting to make a start while still up in the north woods, but to finish it at home.

In fact, the text was so engrossing that I finished it in a f
Colleen Browne
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, history
I had to give this book 5 stars because frankly, it is one of the finest biographies I have ever read. It is a narrative of TR's life told by a writer who is obviously one of the presidents biggest fans. That said, Morris does not allow his admiration and respect for his subject to cloud his judgment. When he determines that TR got it wrong, he says so. If there is one criticism that I have it is that Edith and TR's relationship is not really dealt with in any meaningful way. I would like to hav ...more
Theodore Roosevelt is one of our most admired presidents. It seems that regardless of one's political viewpoints there is something about him that one can admire. There is a laundry list: Liberals, conservatives, gun-owners, hunters, conservationists, doves, hawks, capitalists, socialists, racists. You name the cause or special interest and it seems that Theodore Roosevelt covered it -a true Renaissance Man . Wait a minute what was that last thing, racists? Yes I included racists in that list. T ...more
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-history
In this superbly written first volume of three, Morris portrays a man of unbelievable fortitude, accomplishment and unparalleled scope. Theodore Roosevelt’s incredibly incisive mind is coupled with endless energy. He is anything he wants to be: an avid outdoorsman, a skillful boxer, an accomplished hunter, a cattle rancher, a Harvard phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate, a devouring reader of every possible subject, an author of highly regarded books on topics as diverse as naval warfare ...more
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the great biographies of all time, certainly the greatest I have ever read. Thus it is also the greatest presidential biography I have ever read, and I've read nearly thirty such volumes. This is the first volume of Edmund Morris's three-volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt, covering the years from his birth to the moment his presidency began. Never have I read such a thoroughly researched, minutely detailed, yet stirring and compelling biography. This is a book that seems to ov ...more
Oct 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Teddy Roosevelt ranks among the most colorful characters in American history. We all have heard of the charge of Roosevelt's Raiders up San Juan Hill. But who knows that Teddy once captured a horse thief? Who knows that Roosevelt was a prolific writer, and somewhat of an expert scientist? Teddy ranks alongside characters such as Alexander the Great, George Armstong Custer and Kit Carson as people one wonders, "How did they do so much in a single life?"

Edmund Morris is one of the best writers of
Patrick Peterson
Written Oct. 2014, minor revisions 19 Nov. 2017 - This 8 disc abridged audio version of the book makes me very sorry that this is only an abridged version, since I noticed many significant gaps that I want to know more about:

1. Father's family history - just how wealthy were the Roosevelts? Where did the money come from?

2. Mother's family history - how important were the slaves in the family? What happened to the family and the slaves during the civil war? How did her mother (Teddy's maternal gr
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook

Edmund Morris ought to consider this new title for his next revised edition of this jam-packed book, so full of information and anecdotes that the reader would surely agree to the change a short time into the literary adventure. As thorough as the beginning of this biography might be, its ease of reading entices many who might otherwise shy away from so long a tome.

As I seek to expand my knowledge of some key historical figures, I chose to tackle the three volume
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant narrative about a truly astonishing figure in American history. It's hard to go wrong about describing Roosevelt's fascinating life, and Morris brings it up here with fine examples and colorful descriptions. It astonishes me how a select few people can do so much with their lives.

Dee-lightful! Bully!
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I'm not really a fan of politics or presidential biographies, so was a little wary going into this one, but out of all the presidents, Theodore Roosevelt has been my favorite to learn about. In middle school I did a somewhat long report about Teddy and I have been a fan of his since. Reading this book took me back to that report, but with more knowledge and far better writing.

At times this book read like a great American novel, except this isn't a novel. Roosevelt's life is so rich and a times a
Jill Mackin
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read like an adventure story. What an interesting man Teddy was.
Mary Mason
Apr 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I'm a fiction reader, mostly; this was one of the efforts I made at reading some non-fiction after hearing Edmund Morris in an interview on a talk radio station. He was immensely impressive--so well spoken, so literate, so knowledgeable about, it seemed, nearly everything.

The book was as good as I had hoped, full of wonderful detail of Theodore Roosevelt's personal life. This first of (3?) books by Morris on Roosevelt was on his formative years--the love of his parents, the love of his family, t
Dick Gullickson
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 w ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took quite a while to get through this one. I put it aside for a long while (twice) just to take a breather. Not because it's terrible; it's just so much information, and so detailed that it is at times difficult to absorb, and difficult to read at length in one sitting. Definitely a Sunday morning book, not a bedtime book during the work week. Unless you have insomnia. I don't mean that it poorly written, its just dense. Which is fine when reading about Teddy's extraordinary youth, his explo ...more
Mar 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It is hard to believe this is not fiction. Roosevelt led an amazing childhood and early life, one that is not to be believed.

Aided by Morris' lively writing, this book follows TR from birth until just before he becomes President. It is not only a great picture of the precocious, intellectual, and multi-talented Roosevelt, but a good look at what America was like in the late 1800s and delves into alot of history that gets glossed over in school.

While this is the first book of a planned trilogy (T
An excellent account of TR up to his vice presidency. Even knowing what comes next, it is amazing that Morris leaves us with a cliff hanger at the end of this volume.
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a forty-year-old biography that is as fresh today as it was in the 1970s. "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" is the best-known of modern biographies of Theodore Roosevelt, although it only covers his life up to his accession to the Presidency, in 1901. It wholly warrants its reputation—the writing is clear and compelling, the facts are relevant and interesting, and the author, Edmund Morris, treats the man through the lens of his time, not with any jarring ideological overlay imported from ...more
Markus Molina
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, I'd like to preface this review by stating, I'm really not into politics much at all and find it boring for the most part, so I can imagine more political folk enjoying this book a lot more than I did. I decided to pick up this review after my professor was discussing him in class with such pep and enthusiasm, I was compelled to read up on him.

Roosevelt is probably the most interesting man to ever run for office, in my opinion. And this book brought him to life waaay better than my pro
Shawn Deal
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
I have read many biographies over the last many years, especially on the Presidents, and this one is one of the best. Chronicling the rise in power of Theordore Roosevelt, this book essentially starts with his childhood and goes to the moment he finds out that he has become president through assassination. With some amazing details, this book goes through every position he has until Presidency and through all the major decisions he has to make personally and professionally. The reader really get ...more
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A monster of a book fitting a monster of a man. Theodore Roosevelt's life is the stuff of fantasy, right up there with history's greatest men Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Napoleon. This first book in a three book series by Morris covers Roosevelt's life from his birth until the brink of his first presidency. In those forty something years he packs several lifetimes.

The writing is full on detail but doesn't feel boring. It draws clear pictures of the characters of the time and their relation
Son Tung
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
The dynamite personality.
I am so glad that i read this book, to know better about Theodore, to ponder about his exceptional character.

I have seen many small tales about TR often described on Q&A websites such as Quora, but now the book gives a more comprehensive picture about the man.

"Years later, White tried to analyze the elements of Roosevelt's conquering ability. It is not social superiority, he decided, not political eminence nor erudition. It was something vaguer and more spiritual,
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a phenomenal book! It is thoroughly well-researched and written in a style that keeps the reader's attention while imparting all the necessary information. Morris has painted a captivating picture of the early life of the most interesting president the US had ever had. I felt like I knew Teddy Roosevelt while reading this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it

“The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” is the first in a three-volume series by Edmund Morris about the life of the 26th president. Published in 1979, this Pulitzer Prize-winning volume remains widely-read and extremely popular. Morris is also well known for his controversial “Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan” and is currently working on a biography of Thomas Edison.

This first volume covers Roosevelt’s pre-presidency thoroughly and with great vigor, beginning wi
Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
I was anxious to read a biography on Theodore Roosevelt and did some research about which one to choose. Morris's work seemed the most thorough and with a length over 750 pages, I initially assumed that it covered Roosevelt's entire life. Ha! A man as exciting, ambitious, and fascinating as Theodore Roosevelt needs so much more than one volume. This tome chronicles his childhood, young adulthood and ultimately his rise to the presidency of the United States of America. Morris continues his study ...more
Lauren Albert
An amazing and beautifully written biography of Roosevelt's life up to the assassination of McKinley. I read it in only a couple of days even though it is almost 800 pages. It is really that readable. Morris is magnificently evenhanded about Roosevelt and you get a vivid picture of a very real (exhaustingly real, in fact) man. I had only 2 relatively small criticisms--first, Morris seems to quote ad nauseum from people who (my quotation marks) "saw the greatness" in Roosevelt early on. Now somet ...more
Allison Bishop
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
For some reason I've been kind of obsessed with all of the Roosevelts recently. I think it was a combination of visiting Campobello, along with some episodes of the Stuff You Missed In History Class podcast. I looked up the most highly rated biography of Teddy Roosevelt on Amazon and found this book. It really satisfied my itch to learn about Teddy. It covers the first 43 or so years of his life, until he became Vice President. He lived a truly astounding life - his career path alone is dizzying ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
NonFiction Pulitzers: Roosevelt: Nov/Dec 2016 79 38 Dec 27, 2016 11:50AM  
AoM Essential Man...: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt 1 8 May 01, 2015 09:19AM  
Teddy Roosevelt 4 27 Nov 21, 2014 12:18PM  
  • The Rough Riders
  • T.R.: The Last Romantic
  • Jefferson and the Ordeal of Liberty
  • Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times 1961-1973
  • FDR
  • The Frontier in American History
  • The Age of Jackson
  • Gentleman Boss: The Life of Chester Alan Arthur (Signature)
  • Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Portrait of a First Lady
  • Henry Clay: The Essential American
  • Huey Long
  • Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America
  • What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815 - 1848
  • Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Empire, 1767-1821
  • An Honest President: The Life and Presidencies of Grover Cleveland
  • The Young Man's Guide
  • The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America
  • Wilson
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 is a writer best known for his biographies of United States presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. Morris receiv

Other books in the series

Theodore Roosevelt (4 books)
  • Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy
  • Theodore Rex
  • Colonel Roosevelt
“In the tired hand of a dying man, Theodore Senior had written: "The 'Machine politicians' have shown their colors... I feel sorry for the country however as it shows the power of partisan politicians who think of nothing higher than their own interests, and I feel for your future. We cannot stand so corrupt a government for any great length of time.” 16 likes
“[Speaker Reed's] wit was brilliant and usually cruel... Asked to attend the funeral of a political enemy, he refused, "but that does not mean to say I do not heartily approve of it.” 5 likes
More quotes…