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Theodore Rex: 1901-1909 - Edmund Morris

Theodore Rex: 1901-1909

Author: Edmund Morris
Book title: Theodore Rex: 1901-1909
ISBN: 0007159129
ISBN13: 978-0007159123
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; New Ed edition (2003)
Language: English
Category: Americas
Rating: 4.8/5
Votes: 842
Pages: 416 pages
More formats: azw mobi doc mbr

Theodore Rex: by Edmund Morris [Hardcover]
Reviews: (7)
This is the second in a three part biography of TR. I devoured Volume 1 and ordered this before I finished so I wouldn't have to stop. I have already purchased volume 3 even though I am only a couple hundred pages into volume 2. Wonderful research, superb writing. I am learning a lot about the history of my country within the context of a story about an amazing, brilliant energetic man. A man of his time, a man for the ages. We owe him a debt of gratitude.
This second book in the series by Edmund Morris on the life of Theodore Roosevelt focuses on his two terms as President of the United States. Roosevelt did not actually serve two terms as President, at least not as we recon it today. His first term was in his ascension to the Presidency when William McKinley was assassinated only six months into his second term. TR thus was elected in his own right as President to only one term. Recognizing the custom that a President only serve two terms in office, (the 22nd amendment limited the President to two terms had not been enacted yet) TR vowed upon his election to President in his own right that he would not seek a second term. The fact that he remained true to his word even though he was extremely popular and could have been reelected easily to a second term is an indicator of the character of Theodore Roosevelt.
Roosevelt was a political paradox. As a Republican he favored a strong national defense and was responsible for modernizing and increasing the size of the United States Navy. He also strongly favored capitalism and was against any hints of socialism in any form, yet he was pivotal in ushering out the era of laissez-faire economics and fought for stronger government regulation of business through the new Interstate Commerce Act, of which he was a major driving force. In direct opposition to Republican doctrine both of his era and today, he favored a much stronger centralized government.
Above all, Roosevelt was both a man of strong character and moral values, and he was a man of action.
This second volume of Morris's three volume biography continues his attention to detail and delivers a very readable and enjoyable history of Theodore Roosevelt's presidency years. Beginning with the aftermath of McKinley's assassination, the book covers TR's completion of the term, his reelection in 1904 and the full term until March of 1909. One is struck by the prodigious work of this amazing man, his political skills, and his particular relish for power. TR certainly was the pacesetter for the 20th century accumulation of power by the executive branch which continues to this day. His use of executive orders resembles the Obama years. I was especially surprised by his diplomatic skills, which seem inconsistent with his domestic tendency to ignore opposition sensibilities. Still, he brought to the international arena the same ability to dominate the news agenda that he demonstrated so effectively at home. His timidity in pursuing his early attempts to address racial issues disappoints, but is probably the clearest example of how all political leaders tend to suborn their best intentions to the vagaries of of politics. I am looking forward to the final volume, especially the election of 1812 and the adventure on the "River of Doubt" in Brazil.
In depth history of Teddy Roosevelt's presidency. I learned much about him, and the reasons for what he did. The sportsman and love of the outdoors comes through very strong, which explains why he established so many national parks. He was also unbiased in race relations, being the first person to invite a black man (Booker T. Washington) to dinner at the White House. He also imposed his will on a southern town that forced out their black postmaster. Roosevelt closed the town's post office "until a new postmaster could be found" and forced the townspeople to go 30 miles for their mail. Not surpisingly, they relented.
TR also got into a fist fight on his way to Washington DC after McKinley's assassination. Could you imagine that happening today?
TR's years as President plus some before and after. Interesting to have some insight into how he managed to keep his sight on what he wanted to accomplish and still stay honest to himself. He believed a public servent should not be corrupt. Bully for you TR! Of course he loved the power and the public life that came with being President. He was interesting from childhood though his adult years. This is the second of a series of three by Edmund Morris and he adds a lot to his books with his vivid descriptions of what kind of day it was and the sounds going on...the research must have taken a lot of time. It helps when you have a subject who liked to write letters, books and articles. And his personal diary I'm sure was a huge help. I wish I had just a small amount of TR's ability to read so much and remember all of it. I'm now reading the third book.
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