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)
Profoundly well researched & presented. This book absolutely brings to life the political careers of T Roosevelt and W Taft, the press- the "fourth branch" of the government, and the United States. It is so much more germane now!
Teddy Roosevelt and Howard Taft... Good time to listen to this book - there seems to a historical echo of sorts with this period of election and political class history and that of these gentlemen. The biographical material reminds us that past the achievements are hopes that fail as well as succeed. The recurring theme of Taft's dream to be on the Supreme Court was one of many interesting motifs that ran through the book...good to add some depth to my high school American history caricature of Teddy Roosevelt's " walk softly and carry a big stick." Narrator Edward Herrmann is fantastic.
Author, narrator and story in the lives of these two Presidents was very informative and easy to comprehend. Two great men...two great friends.
Mrs. Goodwin took me on a great journey through the early days of muckraking and a glimpse into the mind of a hero of mine, TR. I really enjoyed the historical and moral depth of the characters, and was very happy to learn more about Taft. Great read.
Came on here for Star Wars books, now its time to get to history, politics, and religion.
You hear about the fights Teddy had to break up the monopolies and push for workers rights, but I never knew how much Taft pushed for or their close relationship. This is a wonderful book that blends two very different men with similar goals.
Listening to Edward Herrmann plus the interplay of the stories with each other.
I loved this book and learned so much about William Howard Taft. Story after story of amazing Americans.
Outstanding, honest, and humourous.
Edward Herrmann can never be equaled.
A must read & must listened to book.
Not knowing much more about Taft than his enormous weight and the fact that he was president then Supreme Court justice, this was a wonderful eye opener. The history of the era and the interplay between Taft and Roosevelt is fascinating, like a novel and read by the incomparable Ed Hermann. Taft is such wonderful, sympathetic character; like everyone who actually met him, the reader (listener) can't not like him. And you wonder what his presidency would have been like had the very cool Nellie not had a stroke. What a tragedy that was. A little too much on some of the personal stuff about the muckrakers; this book would have been a tiny bit better with two and half subjects, not three. But really a gem.
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