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As Theodore Roosevelt would have said it: "Dee-lightful!"

  • Jan 19, 2000
Rating:
+5
This is a supurb researched biography of one of the most colorful, revered presidents of the 20th century. For anyone who has unfortunately grown cynical and tired of the political and social cliched diatribe of today's political figures and political system, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt will change all that and bring forth a new appreciation for what man and woman can achieve in government when they have conviction, determination and plain old guts. What makes this book so appealing is that it focuses not on TR's presidency, but rather it explores TR's youth, family upbringing and hobbies as well as his formative years with the famed Rough Riders... It also delves into the tragedies that he incurred on his path to presidential greatness, i.e. the death of his first wife and mother on the same day of two different causes. Morris does a splendid job detailing TR's time with Tammany Hall and Harvard, his joy of writing and literature as well as athletics. The language that Mr. Morris uses is immediate, personal and inviting, giving off a permeating aura that TR is looming over the reader's shoulder. Whenever I have failed with something and don't believe that I can rise from it, I think of TR and say to myself: "If TR can do it, so can I."

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About the reviewer
Christian Engler ()
Ranked #653
Not much to say; my info section and likes pretty much says it all. Cheers.
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Everything that, in time, made TR an irresistible force - the curiosity and concentration, the energy, the ardor, the dramatic flair - vitalizes this hugely detailed, over-long (700 pp), and rather florid account of his life up to the presidency. But Morris is also locked into his concept of Roosevelt's "rise," persistently seeing in the sickly, bookish, solitary boy and the lovelorn Harvard dandy the future leader of men. It's the colorful, charismatic personality we have here, then, largely minus the drifting, the despondency and self-doubt that afflicted him even after he "rose like a rocket" (in his own words) to leadership of the New York State Assembly at the precocious age of 23. But those who were there to see it - or, later, to witness his exuberant embrace of the still-wild West, his crusade as New York City Police Commissioner to stamp out Sunday liquor sales, have provided Morris with great copy: the toothy grin lighting up a sodbuster's hut; the cheerful, chest-thumping retort to a German protest-marcher's "Wo is der Roosevelt?" - "Hier bin ich!" Never mind that, in the latter instance, Morris keeps equally close tabs on his running feud with a fellow-commissioner; the detail pays off when Roosevelt, escaping to the wider fields of Washington, puts the Navy in position to strike at Spain in "three or four hours" as Acting Secretary - to the consternation of his boss, innocently off seeing an osteopath. Nothing here is really new - not the jingoism, the personal ...
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Details

ISBN-10: 0345339029
ISBN-13: 978-0345339027
Author: Edmund Morris
Publisher: Ballantine Books

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