Spencer's Reviews > Colonel Roosevelt

Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
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's review
Jul 29, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: biography
Read in July, 2011

The incredible life of Teddy Roosevelt can best be summed up by a something he once wrote to a friend: "I have already lived and enjoyed as much of life as any nine other men I know." And such it would seem to me, after finishing this third and final volume of Edmund Morris' excellent biographical trilogy of the former president. The first book in the series, "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt", came out the year I was born, in 1979, and won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. "Theodore Rex", the title of volume two which covered the presidency years, came out 22 years later, in 2001. And now, "Colonel Roosevelt", describing the post-presidency years, was released late last year. In other words, this trilogy took over 30 years to write, which makes sense when you realize that TR did as much in his life as nine other men. Truly, I have never read about a more fascinating, accomplished, awe-inspiring person (in addition to Morris' trilogy, I would also recommend David McCullough's "Mornings on Horseback" and Candice Millard's "River of Doubt" - both also very good). To give you some idea, here is a small sampling of what Teddy did AFTER being President (all of which are covered in this book): embark on an extensive specimen collecting safari through Africa, lead an expedition to explore an unknown river in the Amazon jungle (wherein he nearly died), survive an assassination attempt (and proceed to deliver his address that evening before seeking medical attention!), establish a new political party and run for President as its chosen leader, publish numerous books on an incredibly variety of topics, and request permission from President Woodrow Wilson to form and lead a volunteer regiment of soldiers to fight in the Western front of World War I. It's amazing to think that all this, and many other things I didn't mention, were accomplished after leaving the White House, in only 10 years time, before Roosevelt passed away at the age of 60. If you have never read about this fascinating man (and are still slogging through this review), I would encourage you to read a book about this man. If you are up to it, I would most highly recommend Edmund Morris' excellent trilogy covering Roosevelt's full life. I'm sure you will enjoy each book as much as I did.

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