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Mornings on Horseback

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  20,077 Ratings  ·  1,117 Reviews
Winner of the 1982 National Book Award for Biography, Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt is the brilliant biography of the young Theodore Roosevelt. Hailed as a masterpiece by Newsday, it is the story of a remarkab
Audio CD, Abridged, 20 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Simon Schuster Audio (first published 1981)
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Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

There was so much I didn't know about Teddy Roosevelt until this book. I had no idea the obstacles he had go through to be the 'Roosevelt' people would remember--given the accomplished man his 'father' was.

By the time I came to the end --my love for TR was tenfold. His childhood was challenging with asthma.... with horrible medications at the time. His early adulthood was marked by tragedy. As a political figure he's a man that change the world.

I loved Teddy Roo
A satisfying and well written portrait of Roosevelt’s youth. It’s up to the reader to make the linkages between his origins and him as President. That’s the only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars. For what McCullough intends, it was very satisfying to me:

My intention was not to write a biography of him. What intrigued me was how he came to be. … There were pieces of the puzzle that fascinated me—his childhood battle with asthma, for example, his beautiful southern mother, the adoration he had for
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theodore Roosevelt--pioneering naturalist, Rough Rider, hero of San Juan Hill, populist reformer, trust buster, champion of the National Park system, the President with his "big stick", the Bull Moose--he seems like a force of nature, something unstoppable. But how did it happen? How did a sickly, asthmatic child who was not expected to live become this towering wave of pure human energy? Both nature, nurture and self-will shaped the boy and the man and McCullough does a masterful job discoverin ...more
Jay Connor
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK. Here's my definition of fanatic. After just finishing a wonderful extended look at Teddy Roosevelt post-presidency ("Colonel Roosevelt" - reviewed here and given 5 Stars last month); I went back and re-read David McCullough's excellent biography of Teddy's family history and his early years.

Don't let anyone convince you that "nurture" isn't a powerful contributor to who we are. Not the exclusive contributor -- Teddy's own brother Elliot bears witness to that -- but powerful, nonetheless. Tw
Oct 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs/readers of biographies
A biography covering the early life of Theodore Roosevelt, from his childhood through his years as a Dakota rancher, this book is also a fascinating account of the entire colorful Roosevelt family and the times in which they lived. I could hardly put it down. I especially loved the way the author was able to draw such vivid pictures of this dynamic man -- Roosevelt reading Anna Karenina while guarding thieves at horseback and dressed in full "dude" outfit, telling his cowboys to "h ...more
May 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: presidents
This is another great book by one of history’s greatest story tellers. David McCullough describes the childhood of our 26th president Theodore Roosevelt in “Mornings on Horseback” with little known details of how Teddy Roosevelt became a great man. He begins with Theodore’s grandfather whom started the wealthy Roosevelt family. His name was Cornelius and he started a glass manufacturing company which was the sole glass making company in New York City in the 1800’s. He used this money to buy rea ...more
Apr 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
My 4th book on Teddy Roosevelt. I just can't quit this guy! This book was okay but probably could have been called "White Privilege: The Book" instead. It does give the reader a good idea about Teddy's upbringing and his family. He definitely had some tragedies in his life: His first wife and his mother died within hours of each other. He also struggled with asthma as a child. But most of his early life was that of a filthy rich little kid getting to go on outrageous adventures. It's no wonder h ...more
Apr 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Trudy by: My son Jon
This book took me months to wade through, while I put it down to read another, went back to it, put it down again to read another, etc. Often it would put me to sleep. In short, I am not sure why everyone likes David McCullough's writing, though I shouldn't say that without reading one or two of his others.

What I didn't like about the book: 1. It wasn't written in a linear timeline; he jumped around or wasn't clear on when things he covered occurred. 2. He dropped all kinds of names of New York
Marsha B
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author did a fantastic job of telling a story based on historical accounts, journals, and letters written by family and those closest to them. Honestly, I expected bias and that the story would be told seeing Theodore Roosevelt through rose colored glasses, and maybe that was the case in some instances, but overall this was not so. I saw goodness and fault throughout, and felt like I was truly able imagine the lives of this family, beginning with the courtship of President Roosevelt’s parent ...more
Marjorie Hakala
Sep 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marjorie by: I nicked it off Liz's to-read list
I read this in two and a half days (hey, I was on vacation). I had no particular interest in TR going in, but once I got into this book, I kept missing bits of conversations because I was sneaking in a few more paragraphs about the Roosevelts' nineteenth-century rich-people escapades. McCullough packs in a lot of historical background here, and he got me to think twice about things like philanthropy in a time apparently without liberal guilt (with our vast wealth we'll give generously to many ch ...more
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Literazzi: Mornings on Horseback 7 15 Dec 03, 2011 05:07PM  
  • Colonel Roosevelt
  • Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield
  • T.R.: The Last Romantic
  • Grant
  • Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln's Legacy
  • Eisenhower: Soldier and President
  • Mr. Jefferson's Hammer: William Henry Harrison and the Origins of American Indian Policy
  • Eleanor and Franklin
  • President James Buchanan: A Biography
  • Washington: The Indispensable Man
  • Madison and Jefferson
  • Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man
  • John Tyler, the Accidental President
  • Coolidge
  • Woodrow Wilson: A Biography
  • The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope
  • John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life
  • A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent
David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback; His other widely praised books are 1776, Brave Companions, The Great Bridge, and The Johnstown Flood. He has been honored with the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the Na ...more
More about David McCullough...
“I feel that as much as I enjoy loafing, there is something higher for which to live.” 3 likes
“A man who will steal for me will steal from me." Theodore Roosevelt, dismissing on the spot one of his best cowhands who was about to claim for his boss an unmarked animal.” 3 likes
More quotes…