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Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, and the Unique Child who Became Theodore Roosevelt | [David McCullough]

Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, and the Unique Child who Became Theodore Roosevelt

Winner of the 1982 National Book Award for Biography, Mornings on Horseback is the brilliant biography of the young Theodore Roosevelt. Hailed as a masterpiece by Newsday, it is the story of a remarkable little boy, seriously handicapped by recurrent and nearly fatal attacks of asthma, and his struggle to manhood.
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 1982 National Book Award for Biography, Mornings on Horseback is the brilliant biography of the young Theodore Roosevelt. Hailed as a masterpiece by Newsday, it is the story of a remarkable little boy, seriously handicapped by recurrent and nearly fatal attacks of asthma, and his struggle to manhood.

His father, the first Theodore Roosevelt, "Greatheart", is a figure of unbounded energy, enormously attractive and selfless, a god in the eyes of his small, frail namesake. His mother, Mittie Bulloch Roosevelt, is a Southerner and celebrated beauty.

Mornings on Horseback spans 17 years, from 1869 when little "Teedie" is 10, to 1886 when he returns from the West a "real life cowboy" to pick up the pieces of a shattered life and begin anew, a grown man, whole in body and spirit.

This is a tale about family love and family loyalty; about courtship, childbirth and death, fathers and sons; about gutter politics and the tumultuous Republican Convention of 1884; about grizzly bears, grief and courage, and "blessed" mornings on horseback at Oyster Bay or beneath the limitless skies of the Badlands.

©2004 David McCullough; (P)2004 Simon & Schuster, Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Biography/Memoir, 2005

"Edward Hermann offers a professional, nuanced, audience-capturing narration." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Michael O'Brien 06-15-04 Member Since 2001
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    "Great!"

    As a more or less devout fan of David McCullough and futhermore having enjoyed "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" and "Theodore Rex" by Edmund Morris, this was a book that I bought with high expectations. As always , the author weaves a beautiful tale of Roosevelt's early life. Though I enjoyed the book overall, I felt that the beginning was a tad slow. (Details of family excursions, letters and relationships in those formative years one can argue as important, but by and large, I found them pretty dull.) The pace did pick up briskly, however, with Theodore's trip out west and after. Honestly, the reason I think that I didn't like this book as much as the ones by Morris probably stems from personal preference. I simply feel that it is more interesting to hear stories about people of power when they are actually wielding it. (Which is the key reason I found the latter portion of the book a great deal more compelling.) All said, it is a great book and a "must" for hardcore Theodore Roosevelt fans, but probably not as high a priority as the books by Morris for those of general interest in the man's life.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Gallinaro Auburn, NH United States 04-16-07
    Frank Gallinaro Auburn, NH United States 04-16-07 Member Since 2007

    Lover of good ideas

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    "An enchanting story about a great family"

    David McCullough has written another of his well researched and engaging books. Whether I've read or listen to one of his books on Audible, he engages your imagination from beginning to end. You also learn more about the history of the times and how the people in the book fit into this time in history. I never realize what an incredible family the Roosevelt's were.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Berkeley, CA, USA 08-29-04
    Kate Berkeley, CA, USA 08-29-04
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    "Wonderful, just wonderful"

    First of all, Edward Herrmann is one of the best readers around, and when he's reading David McCullough, it doesn't get much better. I'd already read and very much enjoyed the book-- a sweet and detailed view into a bright and loving family and a happy childhood. Anyone with a heart and an interest inhistory shouldenjoy this selection-- and if you happened to grow up with a an earnest, bookloving little brother, you'll REALLY have a wonderful time with this.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy Wyncote, PA, United States 09-14-07
    Cindy Wyncote, PA, United States 09-14-07 Member Since 2006

    Currently living in London -- more exciting than any book... ;-)

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    "Surprisingly Good Story"

    A good story of the family and early life of Theodore Roosevelt. If you want to hear about his boyhood this is a good choice. If you want to hear about the man who was president, this is not the audiobook for you. One excellent reader narrates the McCullogh book (very good except for some terrible dialect attempts (southern, irish and scottish)) One poor reader does the background histories of the times. Worth a listen.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne 01-22-09
    Suzanne 01-22-09 Member Since 2005
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    "Mornings on Horseback"

    I loved this book--very informative about this time in history. Theodore Roosevelt endured some terrible tragedies in his young adulthood that I never knew about. Tightly constructed and easy to follow. Definitely worth your time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Westford, MA, United States 09-16-08
    Wendy Westford, MA, United States 09-16-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Very entertaining and educational"

    The narrator, Edward Herrmann, has a great voice and it was a pleasure to listen to his reading. I didn't recognize his name when I purchased this audiobook, but I sure recognize his voice. You've heard it a million times in voiceovers and just never knew the name. His reading is very pleasant, clear and unobtrusive.
    I truly enjoyed listening to this audiobook. So much so that I wondered why I didn't pick the unabridged version instead of the abridged. When I looked it up I found the reason is Audible only offers the abridged. I would have liked to have heard even more. This is a great book to find out about Teddy Roosevelt's roots and upbringing. I wanted it to go on and talk more about his presidency, but the detail stopped just before that time period and gave a quick synopsis of his presidential years. I was hooked and I would have loved to have heard more... it was that good. I actually listened to parts of the story twice because there is so much detail and so many relatives listed it's hard to get it all on the first listen. I highly recommend this audiobook to those looking to expand their education and be entertained at the same time. I would have loved public school history classes if they had provided material like this!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert San Francisco, CA, USA 02-13-07
    Robert San Francisco, CA, USA 02-13-07
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    "A Good Listen"

    The readers are excelent. Captures the essence TR's childhood and early adulthood. Helps to understand the man.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SamanthaG Marietta GA 02-09-15
    SamanthaG Marietta GA 02-09-15 Member Since 2010

    SamanthaG

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    "Somewhat Dry"
    Would you try another book from David McCullough and/or Edward Herrmann?

    Maybe, depending on the subject for McCullough; yes for Edward Herrmann. I enjoyed his narration. Also, because I listened to the abridged version, the woman who voiced the parts that I assumed were the abridged parts to bring us up to date. Clever to have someone with a completely different voice do that so that the listener knows what's actual text from the book. Wonder if there'a an abridged print or e-book that fills in the holes.


    Would you be willing to try another book from David McCullough? Why or why not?

    Pretty much the same question above? I selected the abridged version because of the length of the book in its entirety. I know I wouldn't have lasted through 20 some-odd hours of this. So, doubtful that I would select another book by McCullough unless it was about someone I had an interest in.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    His voice was pleasant and easy to understand.


    What else would you have wanted to know about David McCullough’s life?

    Well, other books he's authored - I know he's been rather prolific. Otherwise, not much.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not my favorite genre - I read it because it was a book club selection. I found the beginning rather confusing since Theodore, pere, and Theodore, fils, were both referred to as "Theodore" many times. So I had to re-listen to the beginning of the book to sort that out. I wish he had differentiated them whenever they were mentioned, at least until Daddy Theodore died.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    andrew Reserve, LA, United States 09-11-13
    andrew Reserve, LA, United States 09-11-13 Member Since 2013

    I enjoy history, biographys, and nerdy/ dorky things.

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    "Good book on his early years, not on his latter"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Mornings on Horseback to be better than the print version?

    This book is very in depth regarding Theodore Roosevelt's parents, siblings and lineage. I goes into great detail about his mother, and father. I chronicle his life until about age 25 -30. It does not go very deep into his presidency, San Juan Hill. It ends with him returning from the western badlands, and beginning his political career.


    If you’ve listened to books by David McCullough before, how does this one compare?

    It was not as interesting as the book on John Adams


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Learning about his time in the west was interesting


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 06-16-13
    George 06-16-13
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    "Not a Page Turner"

    Tried to read this one, couldn't get into it. One should read this only if one wants to know the victorian era ultra rich life style.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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