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Colonel Roosevelt (2010)

Colonel Roosevelt (2010)

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4.18 of 5 Votes: 4
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0375504877 (ISBN13: 9780375504877)
Random House

About book Colonel Roosevelt (2010)

All in all, an astonishing trilogy, and one that is essential to understanding America in the early 20th century. While this book was not as consistently entertaining as the previous two (Roosevelt turns into a bit of a crank in his later years) there's still a lot to take in here. The highlights for me were Roosevelt's adventures into Africa (on safari) and South America (on an exploratory mission). The extended section on the Roosevelt's involvement in World War 1 was also gripping. Not knowing the extended Roosevelt family history, I was genuinely on the edge of my seat when it came to what would happen to Roosevelt's four sons (all of whom were involved in combat). Roosevelt continally agitated for the Wilson administration to send him to the front lines with a reconstituted rough riders corp at his side. While this never came to fruition, it made it clear that even in his fifties the old man still had some fighting spirit in him. As always, Mr. Morris does not pull any punches and Roosevelt's flaws shine through very clearly here. While Roosevelt is never in power throughout the book, he is always uncomfortable with his position. At every turn he is waffling between being done with politics completely and working himself into a frothy mess over how the current batch of politicians are bungling things. Luckily, his salvos from the peanut gallery make for lively reading. I even laughed at some of his witticisms. However, he spends a good chunk of the book trying to bully the United States into entering World War 1 which started to get a little tiring. Perhaps most importantly though, Morris includes a very thoughtful section on the death and continuing legacy of Mr. Roosevelt. By his telling, the colonel has seen a popular resurgence in recent years.Mr. Morris's three volume work amounts to a consistently well-written, provocative and engaging portrait of one of America's most iconic figures. I wouldn't recommend this book as a stand-alone piece (I would for the first two books), but it does a great job of showing us how even in his later years he dominated the popular imagination. Having finished Morris's TR trilogy, I feel like he could have written another volume about Roosevelt. There is so much information packed into the books, but it doesn't feel dense. Morris does a great job making TR and those around him come alive, while managing to impart a lot of knowledge on the reader. The late 1800s and early 1900s has always been a mystery to me. It's not a time period I was ever interested in. While reading Colonel Roosevelt, I actually read up on WWI just so I could have a working knowledge about the War and the people involved. But Morris does such a good job of explaining the events surrounding TR, that it is almost not necessary to know much about that time period. I thought the opposite was true of Jon Meacham's "Art of Power" biography on Jefferson. Reading that biography, I was constantly annoyed thinking about all of the events that were going on around Jefferson that Meacham didn't even mention. The biography felt incomplete because it didn't attempt to give context to Jefferson at the different points in his life.TR wrote so much himself, and people wrote so much about him, that it must have been very hard for Morris to distill all of those writings into a cohesive and flowing narrative. He pulls it off. I may read other books on TR (most only focus on certain time-periods of his life, e.g., his trip to the Amazon). But I am confident that having read this trilogy, I have a much better understanding of TR his time than any other book could have provided. It's regrettable, I think, that Morris apparently took too great a liberty in his narrative style in the Reagan biography, because I would have loved to have read his take on Reagan if he had used the writing style he used in this trilogy. But that's beside the point. The point here is that this trilogy is truly great, and is well worth the time and effort.

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The 3rd and final book in the TR trilogy. A fiery yet poignant end of a great man's life story.

Took me some time to get thought this one, but over all a great read and a great finish.

I loved reading about Teddy Roosevelt.

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