“Delivers insight not found elsewhere. . . . The best explanation of Roosevelt's moralism, and the most thorough account of how it informed his politics.” —H.W. Brands, The Boston Globe
He inherited a sense of entitlement (and obligation) from his family, yet eventually came to see his own class as suspect. He was famously militaristic, yet brokered peace between Russia and Japan. He started out an archconservative, yet came to champion progressive causes. These contradictions are not evidence of vacillating weakness: instead, they were the product of a restless mind bend on a continuous quest for self-improvement.
In Theodore Roosevelt, historian Kathleen Dalton reveals a man with a personal and intellectual depth rarely seen in our public figures. She shows how Roosevelt’s struggle to overcome his frailties as a child helped to build his character, and offers new insights into his family life, uncovering the important role that Roosevelt’s second wife, Edith Carow, played in the development of his political career. She also shows how TR flirted with progressive reform and then finally committed himself to deep reform in the Bull Moose campaign of 1912. Incorporating the latest scholarship into a vigorous narrative, Dalton reinterprets both the man and his times to create an illuminating portrait that will change the way we see this great man and the Progressive Era.
“Thoughtful. . . . Perceptive and entertaining. . . . A fresh look at TR.” —The Boston Globe
“Offers an exquisite portrait of TR in a biography that towers over competing accounts for its shrewd insight into a complex American statesman.” —Flint Journal
“A fresh look at TR. . . . More than any other president, he embodied the virtues of energy, vitality and self-improvement.” —The Washington Post
“Provid[es] insights both original and important. . . . May be the best of a large number of very good biographies.” —Richmond Times?Dispatch
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
BOOK ONE: WHEREIN A YOUNG DUKE MAKES HIMSELF A TRUE MAN
Chapter One: The Handicap of Riches
Chapter Two: The Death of the Young Duke
Chapter Three: “My Heart Was Nearly Breaking”
BOOK TWO: WHEREIN A GENTLEMAN MAKES HIMSELF A MAN OF THE PEOPLE
Chapter Four: The Sensitive Plant
Chapter Five: Soldier at the Moral Frontier and at War
Chapter Six: A “Wild Gallup, at Breakneck Speed”
Chapter Seven: The Strong Man and a Weak State
Chapter Eight: A Better Democrat
Chapter Nine: “I So Thoroughly Believe in Reform”
Chapter Ten: Saving “Our Own National Soul”
BOOK THREE: WHEREIN A POLITICIAN MAKES HIMSELF A PROPHET
Chapter Eleven: The World Citizen
Chapter Twelve: A Progressive World Movement
Chapter Thirteen: The Bull Moose Unheard
Chapter Fourteen: Why Is Roosevelt Unjailed?
Kathleen Dalton is Cecil F.P. Bancroft Instructor of History and Social Science at Phillips Academy, Andover and a Consulting Historian for the National Park Service. She was formerly a Fellow at Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University and a Gilder-Lehman research fellow in New York. Educated at Mills College and Johns Hopkins University, she has been studying Theodore Roosevelt since 1975. She is the author of A Portrait of a School: Coeducation at Andover and several articles on Theodore Roosevelt and his times. She lives in Andover, Massachusetts, with her husband, the historian E. Anthony Rotundo, and their two children.