5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough and fascinating book about a great presidency.
If you are looking for stories of Theodore Roosevelt (I consciously use "Theodore" rather than "Teddy" because of the account in this book of T.R.'s bewilderment that NOBODY he saw when traveling around America called out to him by full first name) charging up hills in Cuba with the Rough Riders or returning from African safari and forming his own...
Published on July 3 2004 by William Franklin Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost in prose
After reading McCullough's TRUMAN and Steven Ambrose EISENHOWER I looked to this book with interest in a facinating president. McCullough and Ambrose books are equal to Theodore Rex in academics but were more readable than Morris is. While it contains great detail about the life and times I did not get to know the man, Roosevelt, like I had Truman and Eisenhower in the...
Published on June 6 2004 by Ed Hawkins
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Leadership Lessons,
This review is from: Theodore Rex (Hardcover)TR - the man, the leader, the diplomat, all sides of this effervescent president are flushed out by Edmund Morris in his stunning biography of Teddy Roosevelt. This book goes to great length to look at all parts of Teddy and his subsequent administrations. Teddy took the Presidency to a level of which had not been seen before. He took on the powerful house and senate lead by backroom politicians and forced reform. What we would not do for someone like him today. I think the closest you are going to get is John McCain, but he just doesn't have the power of TR. This is a great book, but takes a while to get through as it is so detailed. Morris must have spent a ton of time researching this book, and it shows. This is a great text, and you will benefit from reading it. A
4.0 out of 5 stars The True "Man in the Arena",
This review is from: Theodore Rex (Hardcover)Morris' second book of the planned trilogy on Theodore Roosevelt is a enjoyable and packed with details. The book covers Roosevelt's White House years, following his ascension to the presidency after McKinley is killed, and gives wonderful insight into one of America's greatest presidents. Roosevelt essentially began the idea of the strong, involved president (since Lincoln's assassination, nearly all the presidents had been largely figure-heads in nature), and he is probably one of the most influential men of the twentieth century.
Morris provides an in depth look at what Roosevelt accomplished in his two terms. He created the Department of Interior, protecting more land for posterity than any other president before or since. After reading a book written by Sinclair Lewis about the unsanitary conditions in the meat packing industry, He created the Food and Drug Administration . He mediated the treaty between the Russians and the Japanese after the Russo-Japanese War and as a result became the first president to be awarded the Nobel peace prize. He built our Navy into a world power, preparing the United States for its entry onto the scene as a super power. He was the force that drove the building of the Panama Canal. Roosevelt may well have been the single greatest president to ever serve in the office. If not, then when they call role for the great ones, there aren't too many names in front of him.
In his lifetime, he also authored over 30 books, was fluent in at least six languages, and was a remarkably astute politician even before his rise to the presidency. Roosevelt also wrote the famous poem (I think it would be considerd a poem) entitled, "The Man in the Arena." In reality, he was the "Man in the Arena."
5.0 out of 5 stars A Big Stick,
5.0 out of 5 stars Theodore Rex,
This review is from: Theodore Rex (Hardcover)A riveting biography of one of America's most interesting characters, who happened to end up as President. I was amused, surprised and occasionaly shocked by some of the lesser known events in TR's life. Yet, I was thrilled by the author's honest portrayal of the man. Edmund Morris dispells the commonly accepted caricature of TR as the cowboy who became President. Please note that in order to obtain full enjoyment of this wonderful read, you should finish "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" prior to "Theodore Rex". Both of these works are simply "Dee-lightful".
5.0 out of 5 stars Legendary President,
If you are looking for an inspirational character that lived the life of a legend, look no further. Crisply written, and an enjoyable read. The man's energy sped me past details that may have slowed the book down a bit.
Michael Duranko, Bootism: a shoe religion
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible intelligence,
This review is from: Theodore Rex (Hardcover)Edmund Morris has written one of the most intelligent pieces of popular literature on one of the greatest presidents. Morris writes in a fashion that is destined to bring Theodore Roosevelt off the pages and into the mind of the reader in such a way that forgetting this piece of history is something that is just not possible.
Morris' well researched account of the life Theodore as president (almost 200 pages in notes) is what is needed in modern accounts of history. Not only is it factually accurate, but is also accessible to the good readers of society.
4.0 out of 5 stars Legendary President,
Michael Duranko, Bootism: a shoe religion
5.0 out of 5 stars Power and charm,
This review is from: Theodore Rex (Hardcover)Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris. Highly recommended.
Theodore Rex (from the dubbing given Theodore Roosevelt by author Henry James) is the second part of a trilogy-in-progress by Edmund Morris but is easily read on its own as coverage of Roosevelt's presidential terms. This installment covers Roosevelt's life from the day of McKinley's assassination and his swearing-in to seven years, one hundred sixty-nine days later, when he departs Washington, D.C., by train and "did not show himself [at Baltimore], as if to emphasize to a small, wistful crowd that he was no longer public property."
Roosevelt's partial and whole terms are set during a time of unsettling transition-rapid developments in military technologies and abilities, influx of immigrants from Slavs to Japanese, growing global trade and interdependencies, spreading racial violence, uncontrolled combinations and trusts and corporate greed, and an increased awareness of the mismanagement of and need to conserve natural resources. In Theodore Rex, reflecting the logistics of Congress and the waning powers of a president not returning to office, the shorter first term covers more pages than the full second term.
During his presidency, Roosevelt adds the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, begins the Panama Canal after nudging Panamanian independence, supports the liberation of Cuba, resolves a Moroccan crisis, prevents a German-Venezuelan war and all that would imply, settles the Russo-Japanese conflict and wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts, balances capital (much to its chagrin) and labor, rebuilds the U.S. Navy and solidifies the U.S. as a world diplomatic and military leader, and preserves an unprecedented amount of land (including five national parks, thirteen national forests, and fifteen national monuments-the Grand Canyon and Muir Woods among them).
Morris shows, through personal and family writings, the letters of friends and enemies, speeches, newspaper accounts, commentary (especially that of "Mr. Dooley"-Finley Peter Dunne), and other contemporary sources Roosevelt's intelligence, erudition, strength of will, personal conviction of righteousness, foresight, and uncanny ability to manipulate everyone from the media to senators and diplomats. He is a man who knows what he wants, that what he wants is right, and how to make what he wants happen. His determination and conviction lead to greatly expanded executive power-which in his mind is not incompatible or inconsistent with democracy. He has his weaknesses, too-most notably, an utter lack of understanding of business, finance, and the markets.
Although Roosevelt achieves much that directly benefits the public (such as settling the United Mine Workers strike and passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906) and earns popular support bordering on adulation, neither he nor his wisdom is perfect. Morris darkly hints that Roosevelt's enemies may have found their privacy compromised, for examples, senators who find their correspondence has already been opened by the Secret Service, although he later casts doubt on Roosevelt's involvement. More importantly, he discusses the Brownsville (Texas) incident at length, which reveals what can happen when democracy is subverted and power is abused. Roosevelt orders three entire companies of black soldiers-including at least one career soldier with whom he had served in Cuba-dishonorably discharged and banned from the military for life based on an incident that may have been fabricated by resentful white townspeople. Morris writes, "Brownsville had been proof to many, and perhaps even a warning to himself, of the truth of Lord Acton's famous dictum."
Morris succeeds in bringing not only Theodore Roosevelt and his compelling personality to life, but those of many others as well: wife Edith Kermit Roosevelt; daughter Alice; son Quentin; House Speaker Joseph Cannon; United Mine Workers president John Mitchell; Cabinet members such as John Hay, Philander Chase Knox, Elihu Root, and George Cortelyou; long-time nemesis Mark Hanna; successor William Howard Taft ("who must have been a very pink and white baby," according to Kate Carew); and confidantes such as Captain Archie Butt.
Theodore Rex is not limited to political life, however. Roosevelt is portrayed not only as a writer, reader, hunter/sportsman, adventurer, hiker, swimmer, and athlete. He is shown as a difficult father to Alice (who resents his silence about her own mother, the late Alice Hathaway Roosevelt), didactic disciplinarian to Quentin (along with his "White House Gang" of friends), and favourite uncle to broods of Roosevelt clan children at his Sagamore Hill summer retreat in Oyster Bay, New York. Even in his family relations, however, Roosevelt is always mindful of his image and that of his progressive platform, hence, his "posterity letters"-seemingly personal letters to family and friends, often signed with his full name, he uses to document his viewpoints for posterity.
Morris is clearly passionate about Roosevelt, and it shows in the life he brings to events that are more than one hundred years old. Whether you are interested in American history, the U.S. presidency and its holders, turn-of-the-century events, or Theodore Roosevelt himself, Theodore Rex is not to be missed for its honest portrayal of a complex man in changing times and for the light it throws on today's political climate and workings. Be sure to read the notes, which contain many anecdotes, quotes, and other material.
Diane L. Schirf, 18 October 2003.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bully,
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Bully Book,
By A Customer
This review is from: Theodore Rex (Hardcover)It's written by Edmund Morris so it reads like a novel. It's about Teddy Roosevelt so it feels like a roller coaster ride. What else does one need to say?
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Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris (Hardcover - Nov. 20 2001)
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