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The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, And The Golden Age Of Journalism (2013)

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (2013)

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4.1 of 5 Votes: 4
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141654786X (ISBN13: 9781416547860)
Simon & Schuster

About book The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, And The Golden Age Of Journalism (2013)

Wow, this book was excellent. Though at 750 pages, I had to put myself on a schedule to get through it in a reasonable amount of time.This is a history that humanizes its characters so much that you'll feel as if you have met them. As I read, I rejoiced when Roosevelt won his political battles and worried when Taft started to flounder in the presidency. I nearly cried on the train reading about the stroke of Taft's wife, Nellie, which left her unable to speak. I mourned the rift in Roosevelt's and Taft's close friendship. In the end, I decided I would have liked Taft much better as a person, but there's no doubt Roosevelt was the bigger personality and much better suited to the presidency.As a journalist, I was also incredibly inspired by the muckraking work of the journalists at McClure's Magazine. McClure himself fascinated me -- while he achieved so much, I wonder what more he could have done if his mental health issues could have been treated with today's methods, instead of with the "milk cure" that he endured a few times throughout his life (bed rest and a diet consisting almost entirely of milk? Like, come on guys). I was so impressed with Ida Tarbell, who blew apart the expectations of women at the time. I also felt an affinity with Ray Baker. Quotes from his writing in the book consistently made me pause with their beauty and truth.This is cliche, but it's amazing how history repeats itself. This book has plenty of lessons for today's politicians, though I'm not qualified to tell you what exactly they are. I just recognized a lot of today's issues in the book, from the growing gap between the rich and the poor to the influence of big corporations on daily life. Of course, things were also very different back then -- for one, people had a lot more trust in both politicians and the media than they do today.I can't recommend this book enough. It represents its characters with as much depth and complexity as possible -- not just the main characters, but also the wives of Roosevelt and Taft and their close advisers. It is generous. And that's probably my favorite quality in a book. This is a sprawling book that examines the relationship between Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, once friends and allies, then enemies as Teddy was unable to contain his need to be in the thick of things. The tug of power after he had passed the torch to Taft proved irresistible . This is neither a complete bio of Roosevelt or Taft or the muck racking journalists who were an intregal part of the progressive era. However, the personalities are larger than life and in Taft's case, I am talking large in every way as he tipped the scales at 350. It is an interesting read but I can't help but think that Goodwin's focus is skewed and it was a more complex series of events than she portrays. Still spending time with a Teddy is always a treat.

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fascinating reading about a period in history I knew little about.

Too long!! (38 hours as an Audiobook) Trying to be 3 books in one.

Really enjoyed. Ties in nicely with Ken Burns' The Roosevelt's.

This lady makes history come alive.

750 pages in few days. It says all

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