Catherine Richmond's Reviews > Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt

Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough
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May 07, 2012

Read in May, 2012

Author David McCullough has a gift for showing a life in all the context of place, time, and people, and allowing the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. And my conclusion is Theodore Roosevelt wasn't all that likable. He shot his neighbor's dog, among many other animals. He deserted his infant daughter, dumping her on his sister, to play cowboy. He ranched in the Dakotas and marveled over the emptiness of the land, but never thought of those who first lived there, those for whom the territory was named. He was a friend of Carl Schurz, who was the Secretary of Interior when the Poncas were evicted from their homeland. He lived in Boston and New York during Standing Bear's speaking tour, yet never mentioned the event. On the positive side, he did visit the tenements and the newsboys' home, advocate for fairness, and work against corruption in government. Roosevelt was an interesting, but flawed, man in a fascinating family.
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