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The Rough Riders

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,201 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
Based on the future President's diary from the Spanish-American War, this bestselling 1899 memoir abounds in scenes of patriotic valor and pointed observations on McKinley's War Department. Colonel Roosevelt presents a spirited chronicle of the First United States Volunteer Cavalry's bloody battles in Cuba against deeply entrenched Spanish forces.
ebook, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Barnes & Noble (first published January 1st 1899)
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David Hinckley
Aug 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this short book quite a bit. There were three things that really struck me.

First, Roosevelt's approach to war was extremely interesting. It was very much an adventure to him. Although there was absolutely no need for this war, he considered it a just cause, and he openly promoted it. The war was an opportunity for men to prove their mettle, and he was proud when his men did. So it was very much an adventure, something to be celebrated in his mind. But at the same time, he didn't skimp
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fact: Theodore Roosevelt was not a bad ass, he was The Bad Ass.

I suspect he was also a little bit crazy in the best possible way, as evidenced by how gleefully he describes the adventure of going to war with his group of rough-around-the-edges volunteers (also bad asses), because for him this really was just another adventure. (Further suspicion: his men--and everyone else--were probably less than thrilled, because most people don't think "war" = "yay! adventure!") To each their own.

I thorough
Mohammad Ali Abedi
Before Theodore Roosevelt became the President of the United States, he had a war experience, which was less like the soldiers in WW2 and more of a fun adventure for Roosevelt. First of all, this was probably the beginning of unnecessary wars for the United States. Each generation of American probably needs his war.

First they started fighting all those natives in the land, then they spend some time fighting the British, then when all of that was done, they decided to have some internal fighting.
In the town where I live there is a major monument to the Spanish American War which I always thought was strange due to the fact that it seemed rather minor as wars go. Spain certainly did not try very hard to defend Cuba and the whole thing lasted about two weeks. Roosevelt narrates the whole affair in a way that resembles play-by-play in a football game. Every participant is described in the most glowing terms. Everyone was anxious to see action and those left behind literally cried. Lack of ...more
Tom Lowe
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written from a loose frame of notes and from memory- a photographic memory at that- this book, written by Theodore Roosevelt, is phenomenal. The amount of data and detail are amazing. Expecting our 26th president to be a bit self serving, in a military campaign in Cuba that he was a major participant in, this book has none of that. Teddy gives credit where credit is due, he downplays his own heroism, and, already regarded for his utmost honesty, gives an accurate account of the Battles of Las Gu ...more
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: presidents
"Credit should go with the performance of duty, and not with what is very often the accident of glory." - TR

What a fun read. Much like US Grant's memoirs I felt like TR and I were having a beer and he was just matter-of-factly recounting his experiences.

I did not know that Clara Barton was there in Cuba during the war which was fought over the sinking of the Maine which, according to continuing research, was probably due to bad ship design rather than Spanish monkey business.
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, history
A good read. TR puts his charisma into his writing and does a good job of holding the readers' attention. He includes the horrors of battle but does not go overboard in describing the gory details. His tale of San Juan hill held my attention from beginning to end.
Tom Kepler
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A stereotype of the American man exists: a man of purity with a simple, straightforward manner of supporting right and opposing wrong with bravery and fortitude. There is also another side to that stereotype: a man whose simple perspective of right and wrong minimizes minorities and significant perspectives just because they don't fit into that simple world view.

I think Theodore Roosevelt and his era fit both sides of that stereotype of the American man, good and bad.

In 1898 the American governm
D. Jason
May 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Teddy Roosevelt's memoir of the less-than-six-months' existence of the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry unit formed for the sole purpose of serving in the Spanish-American War, is a breezy and entertaining read.

It is also a rather astonishing look into an alien world --- the world that used to be the United States, but is no longer.

Roosevelt was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1898. Though he doesn't make this clear in the book, he was the de facto Secretary and basically in charge of th
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent, very readable book by Roosevelt. Enjoyed it thoroughly. This book is not some self-serving account by Colonel Roosevelt to advance himself. No, it is the story of one of the most colorful units in American military history, their members' backgrounds, their valor, and their adaptibility to very tough circumstances. I've always admired the Rough Riders, and after reading this book, my esteem increased even more.

One thing that I did not realize, until reading this, is how completely
Anne Kennedy
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always admired Teddy Roosevelt and have read many of his books. This is a great history of the Spanish American War in Cuba, Roosevelt's own account of his experience commanding the Rough Riders. Teddy has nothing but praise for the many soldiers sent to fight that war. The faults he finds center around the government's lack of providing for the troops and the detrimental decisions made by Washington. His report is very detailed. I once lived in Las Vegas, New Mexico and the Rough Rider M ...more
Jon Hembree
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Eyewitness account

The Rough Riders by Theodore Roosevelt gives the story of the Rough Riders regiment that Roosevelt helped lead into the Spanish American War in Cuba. They were the only volunteer regiment that saw combat. We get the firsthand story from Roosevelt himself, who, while not fancy in his writing, tells a very engaging story. My favorite parts were the very beginning and end, though, where he introduces us to the various men of the regiment, giving us their background stories,
Brandon Pytel
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great first-hand account of an oft-overlooked war in American History. Roosevelt recounts the ragtag group of Rough Riders he assembles in the Southwest, the journey they take to Tampa and then Cuba, and the violent battles that encounter (resulting in a loss of a fourth of his men). Roosevelt throws around words like courage, strength, vigor, orderliness, obedience, and above all, a sense of man's duty for his country in the face of violence and even defeat. War can devolve into chaos amidst ...more
Brian Eshleman
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TR comes through more humble than I expected, more motivated to serve. He tells a stirring action tale and allows others to get credit. One can see the President who would shake up the Establishment and define the modern office.
JL Coy
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a perfect wrap-up to the McGraw Kidnapping series! BJ Daniels amazes me that she can keep coming up with fresh new ideas for her books. After all, they are suspenseful romance books, but she keeps us on the edge of our seats through every single book. Rough Rider is no exception – it’s different from the other McGraw kidnapping books, yet Daniels artfully weaves in the back story so we never get bored or feel like ‘oh, I’ve read that before’. It all flows into the new story.

Boone McGraw hea
C Patrick Erker
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Teddy Roosevelt looms larger than life in this, his autobiographical account of the volunteer Rough Riders. Roosevelt describes the thinking behind and process for gathering men from many walks of life - Harvard, Yale, and Princeton men, black, white, and American Indian, upper, middle, and lower class men - to fight in the Spanish-American War, the results of which loom large even today. (While Roosevelt is celebrated for the diversity of his men, it's worth noting that he doesn't escape contem ...more
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on The Rough Riders by Theodore Roosevelt, it is fairly easy to see why the populous liked the guy and voted him president. His charisma shown strongly in this book. Roosevelt is the famous Rough Rider, he is the man who gave the group its fame, but he hardly shared his exploits in this book. He was always quick to point out how great his men were, the courageous actions of individuals, and the sacrifice and lack of complaining by each man. The book is not an in depth history, but it is a ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great leader

I read this book as research for a fictitious book I'm writing during the time of the Spanish-American war. I really liked how detailed Mr Roosevelt was in writing this, how appreciative he was of his men, and how enthusiastic he was to be involved in this war. I have a better appreciation for him, having read this, and a better understanding of that particular war. It was a big help in my research.
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: millitary
'He had a theory that an officer ought never to take cover—a theory which was, of course, wrong'

What we learn here is that the most significant attribute of any man is what sport(s) he played at college.
A Ivy
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theodore Roosevelt was as well written as he was spoken. The memoir includes his account of his regiment' activities in the Spanish-American War, as well as letters written about him by his men and colleagues.
D. Mark Detrixhe
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good writing for the period

What seems to be a not overly inflated record of the actual way of life for this brief but unsurpassed regiment.
Go sit in the bar at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio. Probably the only place to feel this piece of history.
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned
It's easy to see why Roosevelt rose to such a height of popularity after publishing this book. The entire first third praises the wide variety of men who joined the Rough Riders, listing their various backgrounds, home regions, and skills. He often gives credit to individuals for outstanding efforts or accomplishments while minimizing his own contributions. Yet at no point does Roosevelt seem to engage in false modesty. It's obvious that he genuinely cared for the well-being of his troops. He al ...more
Todd Martin
Colonel Roosevelt
Rough Riders is Theodor Roosevelt’s account of his involvement in the Spanish-American War to liberate Cuba from Spanish control. Lieutenant-Colonel Roosevelt (serving under Colonel Leonard Wood) led the First US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment (a diverse group of cowboys, miners, hunters, gamblers and Ivy League graduates, who came to be more popularly known as the “Rough Riders”).

The story is Roosevelt’s first person account of the preparations for battle, travel to Cuba, storming of San Juan Hill
Nelson Rosario
Apr 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memory
This book was a very interesting and easy read. Former President Roosevelt tells a very vivid tale of his time during the Spanish-American War. It is easy for one to feel Roosevelt's genuineness while he takes us through the journey.

The book begins with the one-day President discussing the idea of war with Spain and the possibility of assembling a volunteer regiment. The language and way with which Roosevelt discusses war and it's supposed inevitability is indicative of the time at which he was
Sep 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-us
Giving a vivid account of the author's participation in the Spanish-American war, this book so captivated the imagination of the American people that it got Teddy the Vice-Presidential nomination and set him on the path to Mount Rushmore. He tells this story well. Had a great gift for narrative - had a wonderful ability to create a sense of time and place. The reader feels as if he is with Teddy, experiencing these events himself - the descriptions are so vivid, the account so detailed, so "just ...more
Douglas Dalrymple
There was a generation of boys, especially (it seems) in Britain, who watched their fathers go off to fight in the First World War and resented staying at home. Too young, perhaps, to digest the horror of it, they grew up wishing they could participate in a national/military crisis of comparable glory. When WWII came around, most of them were in their middle-thirties, almost too old to take advantage of it. (I’m thinking, for example, of Evelyn Waugh, Malcolm Muggeridge, Anthony Powell.). It fel ...more
Steve Harris
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What if a modern-day politician gave up their desk job to join the infantry fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan? That is probably the closest analogy I can think of for what Theodore Roosevelt did in 1898. He resigned his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for President McKinley, to cobble together a motley crew of blue blooded north-easterners, southwestern ranch-hands, native Americans, black Americans, and other assorted types into the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry, aka The Rough Riders—- ...more
Aug 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Without doubt, Teddy Roosevelt is one of the most loved and most controversial/complex Americans to serve as POTUS. TR was fully a romantic, and his enthusiasm of life and thirst for adventure explode off the page in his account of the Rough Rider regiment's exploits in the Spanish-American War.

TR, like many men of his day, hungered for the opportunity to try themselves in battle as their fathers did the Civil War. These desires coupled with the belief in the necessity of American Expansionism
Sep 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
64. Roosevelt, Theodore. ((1858-1919). THE ROUGH RIDERS. (1899). ****. This history of Roosevelt’s raising a volunteer regiment to fight in the Spanish-American War reads like a commentator’s coverage of a football game. It rates the four-star rating only because of its importance as an American document. It is quite obvious that Roosevelt approached this mission as he would have approached a yacht race. He managed to recruit over 1,000 men to form a fully volunteer force that was eager to parti ...more
It was good to read if not uncomfortable how Roosevelt and most other white Americans of his time viewed other people who weren't ancestors of the Vikings as he might put it. Roosevelt in describing bis desire to rid the Western world of the Spanish colonialists, describes how he had been wanting to fight them for axlong time. Choosing to lead a Calvary through Cuba, he first uses Ivy League college men and later men from the 4 territories, Texas, New Mexico, Indian and Arizona. Roosevelt does c ...more
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Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., also known as T.R., and to the public (but never to friends and family) as Teddy, was the twenty-sixth President of the United States, and a leader of the Republican Party and of the Progressive Movement.

He became the youngest President in United States history at the age of 42. He served in many roles including Governor of New York, historian, naturalist, explorer, autho
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“It was a pleasure to deal with a man of high ideals, who scorned everything mean and base, and who possessed those robust and hardy qualities of body and mind, for the lack of which no merely negative virtue can ever atone.” 15 likes
“Credit should go with the performance of duty, and not with what is very often the accident of glory.” 4 likes
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