Item description for Theodore Roosevelt: The Rough Riders/An Autobiography (Library of America) by Theodore Roosevelt, Louis Auchincloss, John Frow, David Halperin, Jonathon Gil Harris, Preben Vang & Eric Kingson...
Overview Theodore Roosevelt recalls his experiences during the Spanish-American War as well as his ventures as a cattleman, state legislator, police commissioner, governor, and president.
Publishers Description The Rough Riders (1899) is the story of the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, the regiment Roosevelt led to enduring fame in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Roosevelt recounts how the regiment was raised from an unusual mixture of hardened southwestern frontiersmen and privileged northeastern college graduates, and how it trained in Texas and then sailed "southward through the topic seas toward the unknown." Writing at a time when war could still be seen as a romantic adventure, Roosevelt describes the confusion of fighting in the jungle; the heat, hunger, rain, mud, and malaria that tested his men; and his "crowded hour" of triumph on the San Juan Heights. In An Autobiography (1913), Roosevelt recalls his lifelong fascination with natural history, his love of hunting and the outdoors, and his adventures as a cattleman in the Dakota Badlands, as well as his career in politics as a state legislator, civil service reformer, New York City police commissioner, assistant secretary of the navy, governor of New York, and president. Roosevelt writes of his battles against corruption and machine rule, efforts to establish America as a world power, historic achievements in conservation, and his growing conviction that only a strong national government and an energetic presidency could protect the public against the rapacious greed of modern corporations.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.5" Width: 5" Height: 8" Weight: 1.7 lbs.
Release Date Oct 7, 2004
Publisher Library of America
ISBN 1931082650 ISBN13 9781931082655
Availability 0 units.
More About Theodore Roosevelt, Louis Auchincloss, John Frow, David Halperin, Jonathon Gil Harris, Preben Vang & Eric Kingson
Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858 (a date celebrated each year by the U.S. Navy as Navy Day), and became the twenty-sixth president of the United States. He was a naturalist, writer, historian, and soldier. He died in 1919. Caleb Carr is the bestselling author of the novels The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, as well as a critically acclaimed biography of an American mercenary, The Devil Soldier. He writes frequently on military history for The New York Times and MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, where he is a contributing editor.
Theodore Roosevelt was born in 1858 and died in 1919.
Reviews - What do customers think about Theodore Roosevelt: The Rough Riders/An Autobiography (Library of America)?
An American Treasure - both the man and the works Mar 4, 2005
Reading this magnificent volume was a joy on many levels. First and foremost, Theodore Roosevelt could write. His prose is always strong, active, and colorful. In "The Rough Riders" he handles action better than most novelists. He picks just the right details about the situation to make it come alive. Whether it is talking about the sound of the bullets buzzing by and the value of smokeless powder because of the difficulty of spotting those using it against you or the plague of sand crabs picking at the dead the reader feels as if he were there.
I also found real pleasure in reading about a time in American history that I did not know that much about. Theodore Roosevelt was a young boy during the Civil War (and he had family on both sides of the conflict) and died in 1919 just after The Great War (WWI). "An Autobiography" was written in 1913 after his failed third party run for the presidency. It is a magnificent work because it is not a chronology of his life. Instead he tells the story of his life through some events that allow him to illuminate at length on various aspects of his philosophy of life. He talks about morals, civil service reform, his views on productivity and the working man versus the big corporations negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War and a lot more. At all times he shows how he has considered all sides of an issue and how he came to his decision.
One of the problems in reading history is that a false light is cast backward onto events in the past. The cataclysm of the two world wars and all the history of the following them have made understanding the time of T. Roosevelt, as they understood it, all but impossible. However, both of these books are completely uninformed by The Great War, the creation of the Soviet Union or anything later because both books were written prior to those events. We get a great feel for how that world looked to those who inhabited it, the vividness of the Civil War and how the policies of Lincoln were still well known and were debated as living choices and policies.
He also shares with us his views on why he had to be such an active politician and especially as President. There is no doubt that the world was changing mightily in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The rise of the huge corporations and the industrialization of huge numbers of peoples as workers in those industries created many issues that had to be worked out. The old government structures were overwhelmed and TR was one of the leaders who helped fashion policies that he and others considered fair and progressive. Obviously, from our vantage point, we would have made different choices. But the present is always in flux and always seem simpler in hindsight than it ever was.
Another treat is the way he characterizes the positions of those with whom he disagreed. He always tries to be charitable and often sounds like a kindly parent dealing with a sincere but wayward and somewhat dull child. It is also fascinating to read this progressive's views about moral character. He specifically addresses the evils of sexual licentiousness, abortion, divorce, and much more that has become our norm. It should give us pause.
If you have any doubt about his character or courage, compare this example to anyone today you care to name. Theodore Roosevelt was an Assistant Secretary to the Navy. He saw the Spanish-American War coming and resigns his post to help raise a regiment of volunteer cavalry. He is offered the role of commanding officer, but leaves that to his friend, Leonard Wood, and is happy as Lt. Colonel. He is well liked by his men, never shirks from the hardships and leads his men in battle from the front. He wanted to be in the thick of things not for vainglory, but because it was the best place to communicate with and ensure the best use and protection of his men. Whom do you know like that today?
As a side note it is interesting to read the differences in his orthography from our present day usage. I don't know if the umlauts in double consonants in words such as reelection (reëlection), cooperation (coöperation), or reenter (reënter) were peculiar to him or some school, but I actually like it a lot and wish we would bring it back. It looks better and makes reading all that much simpler. Maybe typewriters did away with them because they lacked the keys to make them. However, our computers can make those characters easily.
If you are interested in American History, the two books in this volume are treasures you owe it to yourself to read. Oh that anyone in public life could write like this with the kind of inner strength and courage Theodore Roosevelt had. We would be the better for it regardless of our policy differences.
Also, this edition from the Library of America deserves special praise. There are many high quality black and white photographs that were used in the original editions that enrich the reading experience a great deal. As always the LOA has made a high quality book that is a delight to hold and read. Thank you, LOA!
You might also want to consider:
Theodore Roosevelt: Letters and Speeches (Library of America)
Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
What a War, What a Life! Nov 23, 2004
In rankings of the American Presidents, the consensus pick as the first great president of the twentiety century was also the youngest man ever to serve in the office: Theodore Roosevelt. Reformer, rancher, conservationist, hunter, historian, police commissioner, and soldier, Theodore roosevelt led a rich and varied life that he vividly recorded in autobiographical writings, letters, and speeches.
This book contains two books, both written by Roosevelt and edited by Roosevelt biographer Louis Auchincloss:
The Rough Riders (1899) is the story of the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry. This was the unit raised by Roosevelt, trained in Texas and then shipped to Cuba. This was a time when war could still be seen as a romantic adventure -- unlike what happened in France twenty years later. The biggest problems faced by Roosevelt were: the jungle, the heat, hunger, rain, mud and malaria. Kind of incidentally they also had a war to fight.
An Autobiography (1913) recalls his lifelong fascination with natural history, his love of hunting and the outdoors, and his adventures as a cattleman in the Dakota Badlands, as well as his career in politics as a state legislator, civil service reformer, New York City police commissioner, assistant secretary of the navy, governor of New York, and president. What a life.