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The Bully Pulpit Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award, History/Biography, 2015

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

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  •  
    jason k ryan 11-13-15
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    "One of the best books I've ever read"

    This is one of the best books I've ever read in my life such a great story that happens to be a true story. Being an historian I knew a little bit about this time but I knew nothing about the friendship between Roosevelt and Taft.The author did such a great job of laying out the history from beginning to end of their triumphs and downfalls, it's an excellent read..and very relevant to our current situation in America, corporate takeovers corporations having too much power.. Learning from our past is the only way to fix our present and our future and this book is very good I highly recommend it excellent excellent reading and one of the most beautiful stories I've ever heard who needs fiction when real life is so much more interesting

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. B. Rouse TX USofA 11-09-15
    L. B. Rouse TX USofA 11-09-15 Member Since 2016

    Buzzy Bea

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    "Amazing book...well written, we get to know them!"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So much history covered, which really get to know these incredible presidents and their families and what they went through. I am particularly glad to know more about President Taft and his contribution to our history. Highly recommend this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancyeve2 Orange County, CA United States 10-28-15
    Nancyeve2 Orange County, CA United States 10-28-15 Member Since 2010

    nancyeve

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    "Incredible book"

    This was the most interesting book about US history that I've ever read.

    How interesting that so much is Exactly the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Michael Irving, Texas 10-25-15
    Michael Irving, Texas 10-25-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Better Than Expected"

    Masterfully researched and written. Encompassed much more than biographical review if Roosevelt & Taft. Takes you back to the period, and provides much insight into the times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    P Herres 10-20-15
    P Herres 10-20-15
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    "History repeats itself. It's today + a century."

    I loved it. The mix of the book and today's political headlines made for heady listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John P. Rosenberg 10-02-15 Member Since 2002
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    "Great story"

    Very interesting to note how similar were the issues then to present day politics. This was an absorbing and well done book. Mr. Herman was, as always, marvelous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eclectic reader Fort Myers, FL USA 09-27-15
    eclectic reader Fort Myers, FL USA 09-27-15 Member Since 2015

    wanderer

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    "An insightful look at the first part of the twentieth century"

    Real personality demonstrated in the political players of the first part of the twentieth century. An interesting counterpoint to the story of the Wright brothers. A real insight into McClure magazine and the journalism of the day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth WOODBRIDGE, CT, United States 09-27-15
    Kenneth WOODBRIDGE, CT, United States 09-27-15 Member Since 2010

    KATMD

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    "Very Informative But Too Many Moving Parts"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes; I would focus on the two presidents and the journalists themselves and eliminate most of their relatives and other peripheral characters and the details of their lives which unnecessarily clutter the overall narrative.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    See above.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    Everything. He was always outstanding. R.I.P.


    Did The Bully Pulpit inspire you to do anything?

    Yes; to plan to read actual biographies on Roosevelt and Taft.


    Any additional comments?

    Doris Kearns Goodwin is an outstanding historian and writer but this book is not up to her magnificent "Team of Rivals". This book was interesting and informative, but could have easily been trimmed and condensed as mentioned above.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    CHarris 08-30-15
    CHarris 08-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    "History that captivates"

    This is simply one of the most thorough history books that I've ever read. Doris Kearns Goodwin has an elegant writing style that's easy to read and easier to listen to. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys presidential history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darrel R. Falk 08-08-15
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    "A Great Book!"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is a wonderful analysis of two of the great American leaders early in the 20th century. Roosevelt was especially brilliant and a remarkable leader. Taft was a man of impeccable integrity and wonderful public servant. However, he was not a great president, something that weighed heavily upon Roosevelt, who eventually chose to run against him, effectively ending Taft's presidency. The power of the book is its skill in showing how one president was able to effectively use the press to his advantage, while the other couldn't. Taft's failure may also have been in large part due to the two strokes of his beloved wife, Nellie. In the end, Wilson moves into power in 1912 and ultimately plays a key role in establishing the world order (complete with its many disasters) following WW II. Taft becomes a Supreme Court Justice (the Chief actually) and dies in 1930 a much loved and highly influential figure. Roosevelt dies in 1919 of a heart embolism. And the journalists who changed American history? They had their heyday and their influence continues to live on to this day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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