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The Strenuous Life

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  698 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
This scarce antiquarian book is a selection from Kessinger Publishing's Legacy Reprint Series. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment to protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature. Kessinger ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 10th 2010 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1899)
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Jan 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theodore Roosevelt needs no introduction. However, much of his writings do. This collection of essays, including the Strenuous Life, is a good starting point for getting to know the Roosevelt that stated: "speak softly and carry a big stick". His essays here do not speak so softly, but they do carry a big stick. I wish that I could say that I enjoyed them, but the essays primarily extol military might, "clean and healthy lives", righteousness and duty to country.

While these concepts are not in
Gregory Rothbard
Theodore Roosevelt encouraged me to get off my butt and get the dishes in the dishwasher, to start the washing machine, and to start my car to run errands.
Oct 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So as it turns out, everything Roosevelt ever said was done for the purposes of training men for manliness. At least that's how it seems. Is it a little ridiculous and a lot sexist/jingoistic? Yep, but it's also the most inspiring stuff you'll be likely to read from the mouth of an American president. No other orator has made me want to punch a wildebeest in the face or subdue barbarian cultures more. (Hmm, that second bit is a little unsavory, isn't it?) Nevertheless, Roosevelt paints a very ap ...more
Mohammad Ali Abedi
“Nations that expand and nations that do not expand may both ultimately go down, but the one leaves heirs and a glorious memory, and the other leaves neither.”

I admire Theodore Roosevelt only to the extent that he is had a strong character and was able to achieve his goals by strengthening and pushing himself to his own limits.

However, this does not mean I subscribe to any of his philosophies. In many ways, if lines were drawn, my side and Roosevelt’s would be opposite. Reading his speeches, Ro
Unfortunately, this speech was somewhat weak in articulating the virtues of "virility" and "the strenuous life" and was also weak in clear-headed, unsuperstitious reasoning; instead, it preached quite intolerably the collectivism and typically modern superstition of nationhood, complete with such tripe as the "honors" and "duties" intrinsic therein, and necessity for nations to expand and conquer or else be destroyed within and without. In short, it is a sort of softer and less racially oriented ...more
Kevin DeLong
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it's cool how this is a small portable book that can be referenced anytime. A reminder of how action is more important than anything else in life. How To Do or Not To Do something greatly affects our futures as individuals and as a country.

I always want to make the most of my time. This book is a nice kick in the butt when I pull it off the shelf from time to time during periods when my plans and thoughts exceed my productivity and accomplishments.

I will have this the rest of my life.
Lib DM
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I absolutely respect and admire Roosevelt, I can't hide from the fact that he was very much at obsessed with battle. This passage does spark the question "if a savage, unruly nation run by corrupt leaders are taken over and governed by another and do very well, does the ends justify the means?"
Susan Molloy
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, speeches
I found this compact book of Teddy Roosevelt's speech to be inspriational and uplifting. I highly recommend it.
Nick Klagge
I had very high hopes for this book. A friend of mine, with whom I often discuss political and philosophical issues, had suggested to me that I'd like Teddy Roosevelt (based on some affinities in world-views), and I had read and enjoyed a few of his speeches.

The main thing I like about TR's outlook is his constant emphasis on individual virtue as the foundation of success and greatness for the nation. I think that today, it's pretty rare for politicians to talk in these terms--especially liberal
William Schram
This collection displays Theodore Roosevelt's manner of thought in a large number of situations. All of the works between these covers were speeches given before groups of people. All of them have certain themes, and all of them have a common thread; this is the importance of both manliness and morality. These things are important to the development of strong, upstanding citizens that will be able to carry on the good name of The United States of America. It is rather charming in some ways, but ...more
Laura Jean
I had high hopes for such a titled work by one of America's great leaders. This is a speech Theodore Roosevelt made in 1905 in Chicago, and in it, Roosevelt extols men--and he is very clear that he is speaking to men--to live strenuous lives full of struggle and grand dreams. Grand dreams include the building of the isthmian canal (Panama Canal), our forefathers' fighting of the Civil War, and being captains of industry (railroads, etc.). He does, however, warn that "neither was any nation ever ...more
Michael de Percy
Roosevelt's speeches read like a great apologia for the Protestant work ethic. I could not help but think that we have failed to capitalise on his progressive zeal. At times, I found Roosevelt's words to be rousing, at others, antiquated in their institutionalised view of women and "others", yet inclusive and accepting of diversity. Nationalism underpins much of Roosevelt's rhetoric, not empty, but nevertheless of his time. There is much wisdom in his ideal of the strenuous life, and much warnin ...more
Abhi Yerra
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The strenuous life is a collection of speeches and addresses that Roosevelt gave to encourage Americans to achieve Manifest Destiny. The book has both positive and negative qualities. The negative include Theodore's call to take land from the Native Americans and civilize them. But the positives are just as relevant today as they were then. A call to work not only to improve yourself but also to help grow the community, that every person has a role in society to uplift each other, that we can wo ...more
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Theodore Roosevelt's 'The Strenuous Life'. Having read a bit of the great man's history and accomplishments, I'm both humbled and inspired. Sadly he represents a calibre of politician rarely seen today, a man of vision, drive, and a singularly defining temerity and intrepid character that is matched only by the rugged courage and discipline of his achievements.

His views are probably a touch conservative and militaristic for a lot of contemporary readers, but there's a few parallels in his perspe
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is a compilation of essays and speeches given Theodore Roosevelt around 1900. It reminded me of freshman philosophy course that was long on idealism and short on historical perspective on American colonialism. It includes blatant sexism, where the education and social status of women is not even worthy of discussion. It is quite repetitious and the only point I liked was a Roman reference (paraphrasing) that politicians should not promise too much and the people should not expect too m ...more
Joris Wils
A treatise on how one can live vigorously in a land of choice. Before America people were either "idle" nobles or hardworking tradesmen & farmers. One did what one was told by necessity, force or religion.

By the 1900s the USA is prosperous and people have choice. Roosevelt discusses how to run a vigorous country where individuality, collective and government work together.

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David Alexandre Silva
Fenomenal, um exemplo de vida de um grande homem. Uma analise de oratoria sobre o que significa viver para uma causa superior, sobre ter caracter e lutar pelos principios adjacentes a civilizacao, grandiosidade e uma vida com significado. Todos os homens que se minimamente apelidem de homens deviam ler este livro, e adoptar passagens como manifesto pessoal.
Andd Becker
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This compilation of 1899-1901 essays and speeches shows Theodore Roosevelt's values: living a virtuous life; working hard in school; having self-respect.
His 1900 essay "The American Boy" is a must-read for boys. His 1901 "National Duties" speech provides the context for the "Speak softly and carry a big stick -- you will go far" proverb which is misattributed to him.
Pete Iseppi
Teddy liked his meat red, his guns loaded and his women ready to procreate. Having read several books on and by T.R., I have mixed feelings on him. In many ways, I think that it would do this country good to have a few like him in today's government. He would never get elected in the 21st century. They don't make many like him any more, and the ones that are, are most likely in militias.
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Along with everything else he accomplished, TR was a master of the essay, spoken or printed. He conveys his ideas with clarity, passion, and absolute confidence. This deserves to be taught in Rhetoric classes as well as in History. (*Agreeing* with his ideas is another matter.)
Kevin Driskill
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
This is an easy read with many illustrations and extras. One of the truly great men of our nations history. This book gives the whole story even mistakes he made in judgment, but gives a brief overview of a great man.
This collection of speeches and articles was OK. Some were motivating and fun to read, but others dealt primarily with political situations that, while important at the time, weren't that interesting from a modern perspective.
Christopher Brehm
Just excellent. Just as true today as when it was written.
David Barney
interesting speeches that Roosevelt gave around the turn of the century.
Matheus Santos
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved some of these essays, but they were often repetitive.
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A speech by Teddy Roosevelt. Great little item if you're a fan.
Nov 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Should be read on a regular basis.....
Ben O
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Serious reading for serious students of American history.
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Has a few outdated notions, but the majority of the speech still applies today.
Josh L.
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Best chapters: Character and Success. Manhood and Statehood. The Best and The Good. Brotherhood and the Heroic Virtues.
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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 ...more
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“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” 518 likes
“We must hold to a rigid accountability those public servants who show unfaithfulness to the interests of the nation or inability to rise to the high level of the new demands upon our strength and our resources.” 8 likes
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