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Theodore Rex

(Book #2 in the Theodore Roosevelt Series)

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Book Overview

The most eagerly awaited presidential biography in years, Theodore Rex is a sequel to Edmund Morris's classic bestseller The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt . It begins by following the new President (still the youngest in American history) as he comes down from Mount Marcy, New York, to take his emergency oath of office in Buffalo, one hundred years ago. A detailed prologue describes TR's assumption of power and journey to Washington, with the assassinated...

Customer Reviews

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Top-Notch Presidential Biography - Part II

Following up on his first volume biography of our 26th President ('The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt'), Edmund Morris begins with Mr. Roosevelt's ascension to the Presidency at age 42 after President McKinley is assassinated, and he holds our attention through Roosevelt's last day in office. Roosevelt's nearly eight years in the White House were a whirlwind of Presidential activities and political initiatives that have proven to have lasting effect. Morris astonishes with his ability to make order and sense of them while conveying their impact and signficance to a rapidly developing country; a country in search of social justice at home and recognition and respect abroad. Another "must read" from a great author about one of America's greatest Presidents.

A Historical Masterpiece

Edmund Morris captures the times and the person with marvelous descriptions of contemporary events, people, places and the newsmaking headlines of the era. What struck me most about the book is how personable Theodore Roosevelt seemed to be ... although born to wealth, he seemed in touch with the common people, too. He had a sense of how unique the United States was on a global scale in terms of world events and politics. He had a rare genius for balancing the interests of the rich and the ordinairy hard-working man ... This skill and gut instinct knowledge no doubt earned him re-election to the Presidency for a second term. It is something *ALL* elected officials today could stand to develop and apply in modern times. Many controversial concerns of the era captured my attention: some outstanding ones were how the U.S. presence in the Phillipine Islands made headlines as news of misconduct by U.S. soldiers toward Phillipine guerilla fighters was published in the newspapers. Another headline making event was when Theodore Roosevelt invited Dr. Booker T. Washington (a black man) to dinner at the White House, without consulting anyone or thinking about how this might play out politically (he needed Southern votes for certain issues). Despite being a highly educated man, Theodore Roosevelt had a unique personality that made him jump in feet first and consult later of what the consequences of his actions were. This open and honest personality trait no doubt earned him the respect of the majority of the public. Some of the most difficult issues of his day involved creating a satisfactory treaty with Columbia regarding the Panama Canal, at the time Panama belonged to Columbia. Nicaragua was the second choice for the canal which would link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and ease up shipment of goods throughout the world ... The revolution in Panama to break from Columbia placed the U.S. in a very delicate position on the world scene ... Roosevelt, his Ambassador to Columbia, and the U.S. Navy circumvented the problems to meet U.S. and global trade interests. The times were indeed very unique but on many levels not too different from today ... Two other areas thoroughly covered by Morris are the Anti-trust laws which were passed after much heated debate and political clashes. The law prevented the wealthiest men from creating monopolies within certain industries ... mainly the railroads and fuel/oil. Another well rendered account in the book was the coal miner strike in Pennsylvania which could have had very grave consequences for the nation. It mostly affected the northern states, since coal was the sole source of fuel and heat during the winter months. Overall, this was a highly fascinating book which covered a great deal of important U.S. history as it was lived and created by one of the most flamboyant and energetic U.S. presidents: Theodore Roosevelt. Morris interspersed interesting side-lights about his second wife Edith, eldest daughter Alice,

Morris Displays the Roosevelt Personality

In searching for a biography that perfectly balances TR's personal and political life, I found that Theodore Rex hits the spot. From the outset, Edmund Morris envelops the reader in a novel-like way; I never felt like I was reading a biography. His research is so in-depth and his writing so clear that it seems as if he accompanied Roosevelt throughout his presidency. Numerous quotes from such intimates as Elihu Root and John Hay shed fascinating light on Roosevelt's character. While the descriptions of Roosevelt's political battles reveal his political character, it is the description of his summer life at Sagamore Hill, his skinny-dipping escapades in the Potomac River, and his tennis challenges to foreign ministers that personify Roosevelt. Morris has done a fabulous job in leaving no stone unturned. He turns Roosevelt from a detached presidential figure into a jovial personality. A must read for American history buffs and anyone who enjoys reading about dynamic people. I read it before The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and had no problem, but I recommend some previous knowledge of the Roosevelt administration to truly enjoy the book.

Good news. Morris doesn't show up in this book.

Bully book. Fascinating man and time, for sure.Here's something I decided while reading the book: if TR were alive today, he would have a weblog; the guy wrote hours everyday: articles, letters, books, speeches. Reminds me a lot of Churchill's prolificacy. Roosevelt's topics ranged from bird watching (and listening) to naval warfare. A voracious and multilingual reader, as well.Author Edmond Morris , (despite his missteps on the Reagan biography, Dutch) is a tremendous storyteller. Roosevelt and his times provide excellent material for Morris's skills. I couldn't help drawing parallels with today, as Roosevelt's era (turn of last century) saw so many changes taking place in transportation, communication and technology. The roles of and relationships between government and business were also major issues as they are today.There are parallels in his years in the White House with today's headlines like the Microsoft antitrust case and the imploding of Enron. Also some striking similarities to today's challenges militarily and geopolitically. Politics aside, Roosevelt is a fascinating historical figure. And did he ever know how to get a way from it all. Even though it is not mentioned in either this book or Morris's volume on TR's earlier life, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, I seem finally to understand why TR made it onto Mt. Rushmore with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.

The Right Book at the Right Time

Edmund Morris' Theodore Rex has been in the works for the past twenty years. The long delay was fortuitous, because its publication in the fall of 2001 serves to remind Americans that our country has been under terrorist attack before, and we survived and excelled. Theodore Roosevelt came into office in September 1901 after an anarchist assassinated President William McKinley. The atmosphere of fear and alarm that swept the country then bears a sharp resemblance to our national mood since September 11. Fortunately, the events of September 1901 brought into office one of our most intellectually able and energetic chief executives. The next seven and a half years were among the most dynamic in our history.Theodore Roosevelt was a primal force. Nothing like him has held power in Washington before or since. His energy was boundless, his enthusiasm contagious, his charisma eternal. He seized control of the national agenda and forced the United States into the twentieth century.After such a stupendous job of chronicling one of the most stupendous Presidents, I wonder how Morris will manage the third volume's inevitable tale of decline. Given his track record, I'm sure it will be well worth the wait. (I just hope it isn't another twenty years!)