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
“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)
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.
Everything. He was always outstanding. R.I.P.
Yes; to plan to read actual biographies on Roosevelt and Taft.
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.
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.
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.
An educational, entertaining book read by one of my favorite and much missed actors. I feel as much affection for these historical figures now as I would a close friend.
I learned more about our political system, progressives, the power of the press than I ever did in the classroom. Fascinating times, captivating leaders. Men and women who made a difference than and effects us today. If I have a criticism the narrative gets bogged down at times. If you can slog through the slow parts you'll walk away the richer for it.
Mom of one 27 year old, PhD in Rhetoric, Retired AF Captain, Avid Kayaker, Hiker, Biker, Sailor, & Dog Lover
Goodwin never fails to make her readers feel as though historical lives are *our * lives, and Hermann's narration is like a lullaby. I've been checked out of life and happily engrossed in listening for so long, and with such growing affection for TR and his beloved friend, that I couldn't help but cry as though I were at their funerals, standing in the rear behind the pews, linen handkerchief in hand, whispering thank you, thank you....good men do lead.
Took me almost 2 years to finish this 30-hour plus book partially due to the fact of the first half was a bit tedious. The second half, however, was superb and the last few charming chapters made the time well worth it.
This is a good overview of the entire Progressive Era and a great look at the relationship and split between the two presidents. I especially enjoyed hearing about WHT as I have always looked at him as a second fiddle to TR. I have now revised my views on him and actually like WHT much more than his predecessor in the presidency. He seems a much more genuine person.
Very interesting story. I loved the personal revelations of the characters. I loved Roosevelt at first, than I was so angry at him for letting his ego interfere with his acolishments.
I was disappointed in the reader. He slurred roosevelt's and Taft's names. I wished that the book had been read by a woman so I could pretend to listen to Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Excellent story of the interaction of media with politics at the time.
Doris Kearns Goodwin is a wonderful author and historian.
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