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The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (1979)

by Edmund Morris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Morris' Theodore Roosevelt (1)

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3,136412,932 (4.43)110
The story of seven men--a naturalist, a writer, a lover, a hunter, a ranchman, a soldier, and a politician--who merged at the age of 42 to become the youngest President in history.

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Teddy Roosevelt was certainly one of the greatest U.S. Presidents. Perhaps below a Washington or a Lincoln, but not much below. He set the twentieth century for America on a positive course and ushered in what has been called the American century. In this biography, Morris explores the Teddy Roosevelt that came to be before he assume presidential office. This work is part of a three-part series and has been ranked in the top 100 non-fiction books of all-time in the English language.

Who was Teddy Roosevelt? Morris extracts the many influences that shaped this giant of a man. He was a naturalist, a scholar, a reader, a cowboy, a soldier (a “rough rider” of the calvary specifically), a Navy man, a speaker, a politician, a husband, and a father. Quite the mix. This work, lengthy at 800+ pages, examines those many facets in detail and presents a lively story from erudite research. Morris’ accomplishment has been and will continue to be read for generations.

It’s hard to summarize what’s great about this book because, well, it’s all so good. This is a complex biography of a complex man of action. It does not over-simplify; indeed, it beautifully dissects the narrative from the historical record. From reading this work, I leave with a great deal of respect for Teddy Roosevelt the man, but I wonder whether I would have liked him. Obviously, he was a force of history, but I believe I would have found him a bit full of himself. But that’s what it takes to be a momentous president of the United States.

From reading this work, I have the utmost respect for Morris’ history-telling skills. He is full of insight and never prone to cliche. I’ve read the next volume in this series – Theodore Rex – based off of Roosevelt’s presidency and enjoyed it thoroughly. This work is even better than that great piece. I’d recommend reading The Rise over Rex any day. It provides a full understanding of the man and will relate to almost anyone.

Obviously, America has changed greatly since when Teddy assumed the presidency in 1901. The Great Depression, women’s voting rights, two World Wars, the end of Jim Crow, the Cold War, and 9/11 have all transpired to shape America since Teddy’s rise. Like all presidents, Teddy was a man of his era, but he also helped shape and define the era. It’s nice to see what shaped and defined him before he entered the limelight. Morris’ work is simply excellent. ( )
  scottjpearson | Jun 18, 2020 |
Incredible writing about an extraordinary man! I can't believe how little I knew about President Roosevelt before reading this biography and how much I've come to admire him. (Killing aside. According to the author, he took out over 1000 animals during one hunting trip as he grieved the loss of his first wife.) He went from a weak and ill child to a vibrant, confident leader in both politics and the military. He defined strength and leadership for his time. The author left this volume with a cliff-hanger so I'm looking forward to picking up the continuation. ( )
  pmtracy | Dec 17, 2019 |
Wow what a great book! As just about all of the reviews of this book have said, this is a fantastic look at the life of Teddy Roosevelt up to his ascension to the Presidency. What a fascinating man TR was. His entire lifestyle is worth of emulating and inspiring to us even today. TR seemingly never stopped going either mentally or physically. He was always walking, talking riding, hunting, or reading and seemed to require little or no sleep to be highly successful at all things. It makes me feel like I waste part of my life by simply relaxing and watching a televesion show at night.

The writing in this book is outstanding and the old cliche that it reads like a novel is true. I am not a supporter of all of TR's politics, but anyone who loves history or loves a good read will enjoy this book. I will absolutely read the final two volumes of this series and am looking forward to having a stretch of time to do so. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
Long, Detailed, and very wholesome. Probably the best biography I have read to date. From early life, to the beginnings of his life as a "political animal". ( )
  Teufle | Jul 9, 2017 |
Anyone who can dictate to two people at once has to have a mind vastly superior to most. Edmund Morris's book is eminently readable and discloses a lot of "Teddy's" strengths and weaknesses. His rapid rise and aggressive attitutude, his lack of compassion in younger years. Now on to Theodore Rex. ( )
  busterrll | Jul 17, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edmund Morrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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At eleven o'clock precisely the sound of trumpets echoes within the White House, and floats, through open windows, out into the sunny morning.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt is hte story of seven men - a naturalist, a writer, a lover, a hunter, a ranchman, a soldier and a politician - who merged at age forty-two to become the youngest President in history. Twenty-one years ago, this classic biography (the first volume of a planned trilogy; the second volume Theodore Rex is available in paperback from the Modern Library) won both the Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award, and since then it has never been out of print.
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