Caroline's Reviews > The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
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's review
May 24, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: biography, american-history
Read from August 24 to 27, 2012

This is a pretty huge book, so the fact that I read it in three days is testament to just how good it is. I've never come across a biography that was as readable and engrossing as fiction before. Of course, it helps that Theodore Roosevelt was such a larger-than-life character that any biography about him would be exciting and gripping, but one mustn't detract from the skill of the author. This is an excellent, truly excellent book. I'm just glad that this is the first in a trilogy, so I have the enjoyment of two more hopefully equally as good volumes to read.

This volume covers the years from TR's birth up to McKinley's assassination in 1901, which ensured TR's accession to the Presidency. That TR was headed for the White House seems inevitable when you read this book, although I'm sure no-one at the time expected him to assume office in the way that he did, and I'm positive TR himself would have regretted his path to the highest office in the land as much as anyone.

It's almost hard to believe, reading this book, that anyone like Theodore Roosevelt could be real outside the pages of a novel. Such an immense personality, such charisma and magnetism and energy. Whether he is battling corruption in the New York Police Department or tracking buffalo in the West, charging up San Juan Hill in Cuba with his Rough Riders or climbing mountains before breakfast for fun, writing books in a matter of weeks or single-handedly preparing the nation for war, his personality fairly leaps off the page.

What it must have been like, to experience politics with a man like Theodore Roosevelt on the scene. Modern politicians pale laughably in comparison. Hell, everyone seems to pale in comparison. I'm just glad that this book is every bit worthy of the man himself.

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