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The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism | [Doris Kearns Goodwin]

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

Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the "muckraking" press, Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business. The rupture led Roosevelt to run against Taft for president, an ultimately futile race that gave power away to the Democrats.
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Publisher's Summary

After Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin wields her magic on another larger-than-life president, and another momentous and raucous American time period as she brings Theodore Roosevelt, the muckraking journalists, and the Progressive Era to life.

As she focused on the relationships between Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in No Ordinary Time, and on Lincoln and his team in Team of Rivals, Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the "muckraking" press - including legendary journalists Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, William Allen White, and editor Sam McClure - Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business. The rupture between the two led Roosevelt to run against Taft for president, an ultimately futile race that resulted in the election of Democrat Woodrow Wilson and the diminishment of Theodore Roosevelt's progressive wing of the Republican Party.

Like Goodwin's chronicles of the Civil War and the Great Depression, The Bully Pulpit describes a time in our history that enlightened and changed the country, ushered in the modern age, and produced some unforgettable men and women.

©2013 Doris Kearns Goodwin (P)2013 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

“Few audio productions this year are likely to match, or deserve as much praise as, this history of the Progressive Era and the presidential friendship that shaped, and was destroyed by, its politics… Edward Herrmann is simply her most simpatico reader…his steady, unflagging delivery is perfectly attuned to her narrative voice and, without mimicry, to the broad array of voices, personalities, and events that highlight this rich personal and social drama.” (AudioFile)

“Swiftly moving account of a friendship that turned sour, broke a political party in two and involved an insistent, omnipresent press corps. . . . It’s no small achievement to have something new to say on Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency, but Goodwin succeeds admirably. A notable, psychologically charged study in leadership.”(Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1041 )
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  •  
    Thurston Cromwell 01-15-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding Political Biography"
    If you could sum up The Bully Pulpit in three words, what would they be?

    Progressivism, Journalism, Relationships


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    William Howard Taft. This little-known president had an amazing intellect and moral character.


    What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Gives great voice to historical figures


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The story of Archie Butt and his role between two presidents.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 12-28-14
    Joseph 12-28-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    7
    1
    Overall
    "An amazing"

    The narrative and context is amazing. Prior to reading this book I was quite familiar with Theodore Roosevelt but only passingly aware of Taft. William Taft has now become one of my favorite presidents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Genrich 12-16-14 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    Performance
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    "outstanding"

    Everyone knows something of Roosevelt, for good reason, but this book shows the unheralded Taft as his colleague, foil, and perhaps, in some ways, equal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fasteddieb 12-08-14
    fasteddieb 12-08-14
    ratings
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    113
    1
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    "The Bully Pulpit is BULLY!"
    If you could sum up The Bully Pulpit in three words, what would they be?

    Best ever written!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Most definitely increased my interest in all the people surrounding TR.


    Which character – as performed by Edward Herrmann – was your favorite?

    She tells you the story, and an outstanding story teller she is!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely nothing!


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a lover of American history at any level- READ/LISTEN TO THIS BOOK!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tyler 10-25-14
    tyler 10-25-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    12
    3
    Overall
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    Story
    "Epic Bromance."
    What did you like best about The Bully Pulpit? What did you like least?

    Holy crap this book goes on and on forever about how nice-nice they both are growing up. I kept asking myself, why doesn't dashing Prince Theodore just get down on one knee and propose to Princess Taft so that this book can end?

    I appreciate an investigation into the often neglected human side of historical figures. But these two are, or are at least portrayed as, such dainty little bits of perfection incarnate. It made for a very boring read, the half I got through.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryalice 09-02-14
    Maryalice 09-02-14
    ratings
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    7
    3
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    Story
    "Fascinating study of mastering the impossible"
    Where does The Bully Pulpit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    At the top
    Brilliant writing
    Outstanding characters
    An unforgiving window on US History


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is a silly question for a body of work crafted by a exemplary historian


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    who? If the narrator, he was superb in that he did not supplant the subjects at hand.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, not even in one week or one month


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Casurella Marietta, GA 09-02-14
    Jeffrey Casurella Marietta, GA 09-02-14 Member Since 2003

    Jeff

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Average at Best"

    This book started with a bang, but ended in a whimper. I have read many histories and biographies; in fact, two of the best historical books I have ever read--"No Ordinary Time" and "Team of Rivals" were written by this author. This book is not of the same cloth. It is dull,unimaginative, and not worth the time. I cannot recommend this book. Still, I gave it 3 stars because of its obvious meticulous research. By the way, Edward Hermann, as always, is a fantastic narrator. So it was with his narration in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff 08-12-14
    Jeff 08-12-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Fascinating histories separate and woven together"
    Any additional comments?

    A well-written concept to briefly tell the histories of both men running separately, woven with their times in history and then their own paths. So much more has been written about TR than has been about Taft that the TR history here seems brief and the Taft history was quite enlightening. Herrmann's narration was spot-on. A must listen/read for anyone interested in either President or that period in time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy Gaiser 07-24-14
    Joy Gaiser 07-24-14

    butterfly guru!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting!"
    Where does The Bully Pulpit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Loved Edward Hermann's reading- he is one of the best readers ever!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Learning more about the Roosevelt and Taft time in history- lots of things I never knew.


    Which character – as performed by Edward Herrmann – was your favorite?

    All! He was awesome.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael BROOKLYN CENTER, MN, United States 07-23-14
    Michael BROOKLYN CENTER, MN, United States 07-23-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "Repeat of America's History"
    Where does The Bully Pulpit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Two words; Edward Herman not only a voice but passion.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    T. Roosevelt


    Have you listened to any of Edward Herrmann’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    1st one but will look for more.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    This book touched history that my High School failed to teach (1966 Grad), probably my failure to learn plus due to the teachers generation fresh memory of WW2. American History is not being emphasized like it should be to remind/ teach the repeating tragic history we seem to keep jumping into.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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