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Colonel Roosevelt

(Theodore Roosevelt #3)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  18,367 ratings  ·  597 reviews
Of all our great presidents, Theodore Roosevelt is the only one whose greatness increased out of office. When he toured Europe in 1910 as plain “Colonel Roosevelt,” he was hailed as the most famous man in the world. Crowned heads vied to put him up in their palaces. “If I see another king,” he joked, “I think I shall bite him.”

Had TR won his historic “Bull Moose” campaign
Hardcover, First Edition, 766 pages
Published 2010 by Random House
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 ·  18,367 ratings  ·  597 reviews

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Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have completed now the third volume of Edmund Morris's monumental three-volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt. As I finished the first volume (THE RISE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT), I felt certain it was the best biography I had ever read. The second volume (THEODORE REX) gave me no reason to change my mind. Now the third and final book in the trilogy has convinced me even further that this is a book (or series of books) for the ages. Finishing this book felt the way I felt at the end of KING LEAR ...more
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th US president. There are several charts ranking the US presidents and in all that I have seen he places fourth or fifth from the top. Lincoln, Washington and FDR, they are the ones that sit at the top. Jefferson and Theodore vie for the fourth position depending on which chart you look at. Maybe for this reason I can convince you to read this trilogy, written by Edmund Morris. This book is the last of the trilogy. In my view they must all be read together. The tril ...more
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-history
In Morris’ third volume we leave behind TR the thoughtful president and pick up again TR the adventurer. Following his second term in 1909, TR goes on a yearlong African safari where he and his associates kill or trap over 10,000 animals. Mostly, the animals or skins are shipped back to the Smithsonian or other museums. With the boy in him revitalized he heads off to Europe where he is entertained by royalty and prominent figures. Some of these contacts particularly the time spent with Kaiser Wi ...more
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the long-anticipated trilogy completion of Edmund Morris' masterful biography of Theodore Roosevelt. He wrote the first installment, "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" in 1979; the story was continued with "Theodore Rex" in 2001.

"Colonel Roosevelt", reflecting the manner in which he preferred to refer to himself, starts when Theodore's life seems to be reaching its fulfillment, at age fifty, in 1909. Roosevelt had just handed the reins of the United States government to his good friend Wi
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Morris' 3-volume biography of Teddy Roosevelt is replete with much detail that I relish in a presidential biography. I liked all three and have become more intimate with all them thereby knowing that age better and feeling more able to appreciate literature set in those years, such as "The Man Who Loved Children" by Christina Stead.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Morris’s trilogy on Teddy is the best biography I’ve read. It's a bully piece of work! as the Colonel would say. I was genuinely bereaved at its conclusion, saddened not just by the death of Teddy, but also by fact that a fantastic series of books had come to an end.
So I am a moron. I had no idea there were two other books before this one. I felt like I got plopped into Theodore Roosevelt's life and felt confused. Once I realized that I was on the third book I felt better since I was all, why is the book acting as if I read about Theodore Roosevelt before now?

I have to say though that my attention kept straying away while reading this. I thought that Morris does a good job of bringing Roosevelt out as a man who is out to explore Africa after completing his
Solid biography of Roosevelt's last ten years of life. His "retirement" would be considered a lifetime of experiences for most people and that probably contributed to his relatively early death. He simply was unable to slow down and adjust his activity level as he grew older.Between the African safari, Amazon expedition (where he almost died) and a brutal presidential campaign Roosevelt made demands on himself that his aging body was unable to meet - he literally burned out. Possibly he simply n ...more
Aaron Million
Outstanding conclusion to Morris' trilogy about one of the biggest personalities to ever inhabit the White House. This final volume picks up with TR's African safari that began only a few weeks after he left office in March 1909, and concludes with his death almost a full decade later. As with the two prior volumes, the level of detail combined with Morris' story-telling abilities makes this eminently enjoyable to read. Admittedly, Morris has a lot to work with here: TR led a truly fascinating l ...more
Craig Fehrman
Morris's books look like presidential biographies -- long, densely noted, stacked in the front of Barnes & Nobles -- but their prose hits a different level than anything else in this genre. While Morris really does the research, he uses all of those facts and details to fuel his imagination. For him biography is less about contexts and ideas than people and scenes. In fact, I've always thought his books read like movies. This comes through in the opening scene of Colonel Roosevelt, which finds R ...more
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it

“Colonel Roosevelt” is the final volume in Edmund Morris’s trilogy covering the life of Theodore Roosevelt. Published in 2010, this widely anticipated volume concluded a three-decade long effort to chronicle the life of this colorful and complex man. Morris is currently working on a biography of Thomas Edison.

The volume opens with Roosevelt embarking on an African safari just weeks after leaving the White House. Morris regales his audience with tales of ad
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened-to
Now that's what I'm talking about! This is the book I was hoping for when I read "Theodore Rex." Morris really lets you know the history AND the man in this one.

Roosevelt was such an interesting guy. Morris makes it clear that he really only started the Bull Moose Party as a big screw you to Taft just because Taft wasn't doing things the way he wanted them done. For all intents and purposes Roosevelt handed the election to Wilson.

It would have been very interesting to see what Roosevelt would ha
Jay Connor
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the third and final volume of Edmund Morris’ superb Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Theodore Roosevelt. Though the period covered here is a mere eight years (1910 to 1919) from post-presidency to death, it exhibits all of the range, excitement and exuberance of the two earlier volumes because at its core it has the larger than life – the “polygonal personality” – of sportsman, explorer, author, speechmaker, statesman, politician Teddy Roosevelt. What a romp!

After a five month Africa
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Years ago, I was throwing back beers with a friend and we raised the question: if you could go back to any point in history, as an observer, when or what event would you choose. We mulled certain battles, maybe being at the grassy knoll on Nov. 22, 1963. But I decided I would like to have been on the boat that brought my grandmother from Poland to the United States back in 1910. She was unaccompanied and all of thirteen years old. I knew her only as an old woman, sharing the few English words sh ...more
Steven Peterson
Dec 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful conclusion to Edmund Morris' trilogy, the biography of Theodore Roosevelt. Here he is, warts and all (and there are surely warts to be seen).

The work starts off after TR has left the White House to become "citizen Roosevelt." We see him leaving for an African tour, replete with many animal trophies from his hunting prowess. He made a tour of Europe, in which he was hailed by national leaders of all stripes--from monarchs to democratically elected officials. The visits from one count
May 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It took me awhile, but I finally finished this, the final section in Edmund Morris's splendid tripartite biography of Theodore Roosevelt. In some ways, I guess after leaving office, TR found the approval in the rest of the world that he could not as readily find at home. Whether he was killing hundreds of animals on safari in Africa, going on a quest in South America to map an uncharted river (and nearly dying in the process), or attending the state funeral of King Edward VII, Roosevelt found a ...more
It has been so long since I read Morris' previous volumes on Theodore Roosevelt and I've been waiting for this volume for so long that I had forgotten just how wonderfully written this whole series has been. Theodore Roosevelt, the Lion of American history, has been fully realized by this author and this volume along with the preceding ones deserve to be considered as THE definitive works on the man's life. This final volume covers the last ten years of Roosevelt's life following his departure f ...more
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, biography
I found it fascinating reading this just after Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Bully Pulpit and contrasting their vastly different depictions of TR and Taft - hers so admiring of Taft, the man so much better at being a judge than a president, and dismissive of post-presidency Roosevelt's mania to return to power; and Morris's so fond of TR's gusto and scornful of Taft (who seems to be crying every time he is mentioned, almost). If you're interested in the period at all, I strongly recommend reading b ...more
This is the third volume in Edmund Morris's massive three-volume biography of President Theodore Roosevelt (following "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" and "Theodore Rex"). If you ever wondered why Teddy was on Mt. Rushmore, Morris provides the answers.

"Colonel Roosevelt" focuses on Roosevelt's post-Presidency. These years were as action-packed and controversial as those that preceded his Presidency, including his African safari (in which he shot seemingly half the animals on the Continent but p
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A bittersweet end to an incredible trilogy. Morris really got me attached to Roosevelt over his 2,000 pages. Overall, Roosevelt is an inspirational man (although not perfect by any means) due to how many things he overcame: political failures, health issues from youth, a loss of a wife and mother on the same night, a death of a son, and many more. He fought for what he believed in relentlessly (even if I don’t agree with everything he stood for). He was a family man, police of chief, naval offic ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Colonel Roosevelt wraps up a masterly, multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning, three volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris. Not one to go quietly off-stage, TR’s last decade included his post-presidential African safari, death defying (literally) Amazonian river exploration, forming of a new political party, and his vitriolic diatribes against the Wilson administration shortly before WWI. Easily the most exciting and adventurous presidential biography I have read. (Frankly, I’m not su ...more
The publication in 1979 of Edmund Morris's The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt heralded the start of a monumental multi-volume study of our nation's 26th president. Though sidetracked for a number of years by his assignment as Ronald Reagan's official biographer, Morris finally released his second volume, Theodore Rex, in 2001, which chronicled Roosevelt's life during his years in the White House. This book, which recount's Roosevelt's post-presidential years, provides a long-awaited completion to Mo ...more
Judy Baker
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, biography
Colonel Roosevelt was Morris' final book in the trilogy on the life of Terry Roosevelt. Unlike most presidents, TR is just short of 50 years old when he completes his 7 years in the Oval Office and, with his "can-do" attitude, there is still a lot about which to write. TR had to fend off a 3rd term in office and hand-picked Taft as his successor. TR purposefully exiles himself so as to give Taft the freedom to continue his own policies, taking off on a world tour, including an African safari, du ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
A comprehensive biography of TR's post-presidency days, it read rather more apologist than I anticipated. Perhaps, in the end, that was its intent; a humanizing read of a man considered one of America's greatest presidents and, thusly, immortalized in American consciousness as both Teddy bear(s) and Mt. Rushmore stoic.
Paul Anderson
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The final book in his planned trilogy chronicling the life of the 26th president, Edmund Morris gives the reader COLONEL ROOSEVELT, which tells of the final years of TR, beginning immediately after leaving the White House in March of 1909. The book is every bit as good as THE RISE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT and THEODORE REX, but, at this point, the reader feels an almost inescapable sense of anti-climax--not because of Morris or the subject matter, but because the reader knows that this is the final ...more
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
The life of Theodore Roosevelt is like reading an ongoing paradox. The man loved to hunt and kill big game, and yet, embraced the notion of conservation of the species. He glorified war, and yet, helped settle the Russian-Japanese conflict. He was the quintessential parent, and yet, when his first wife died (on the same day as his mother) he left his daughter in the care of family and went west to assuage his grief. His grief for the loss was so great that he did not speak of her and a great rif ...more
D.M. Kenyon
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
It is hard for someone of the modern generation to fully appreciate how immensely popular and powerful Theodore Roosevelt was in his own time. The international celebration of the election of Barack Obama to the United States presidency pales in comparison to Roosevelt's extended tour of Europe following his departure from public office. Another substantial difference is that Obama's celebrity occurred before he had suffered the slings and arrows of public office while Roosevelt's celebrity was ...more
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is an all encompassing biography of Theodore Roosevelt's life. It covers every detail of his later life. I enjoyed what I learned about Roosevelt; I finished with an appreciation of how remarkable he was. Roosevelt was a truly complex man, striving to live according to his own code and to do the right thing, yet with very human foibles. However, this book is one of a triology which is meant to comprehensively cover Roosevelt's life. As far as I can tell, it does that, but I would have prefe ...more
Bartosz Majewski
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reading the trilogy took 2101 pages or 78 hours in audiobook listening time. Since now I'm convinced that Theodore Roosevelt might indeed be the most interesting American man that ever lived - it was worth it. This is indeed a great biography of one of the best leaders that ever lived. If you aspire to be a better leader, why not try to learn from the best?
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-history
An exhaustive an exhastive look at TR's life after the White house. I despise the way the book does end notes. I hate end notes that just site page numbers.
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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 recei

Other books in the series

Theodore Roosevelt (3 books)
  • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
  • Theodore Rex

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“Norway...looked to Roosevelt "as funny a kingdom as was ever imagined outside of opera bouffe....It is much as if Vermont should offhand try the experiment of having a king.” 8 likes
“[Theodore] Roosevelt had long ago discovered that the more provincial the supplicants, the less able were they to understand that their need was not unique: that he was not yearning to travel two thousand miles on bad trains to support the reelection campaign of a county sheriff, or to address the congregation of a new chapel in a landscape with no trees. His refusal, no matter how elaborately apologetic, was received more often in puzzlement than anger. Imaginatively challenged folks, for whom crossing a state line amounted to foreign travel, could not conceive that the gray-blue eyes inspecting them had, over the past year, similarly scrutinized Nandi warriors, Arab mullahs, Magyar landowners, French marshals, Prussian academics, or practically any monarch or minister of consequence in Europe -- not to mention the maquettes in Rodin’s studio, and whatever dark truths flickered in the gaze of dying lions.

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