TR's speed of thought and action, and his total command of all aspects of presidential leadership, from bureaucratic subterfuge to manipulation of the press, make him all but invincible in 1904, when he wins a second term by a historic landslide. Surprisingly, this victory transforms him from a patrician conservative to a progressive, responsible between 1905 and 1908 for a raft of enlightened legislation.
Interspersed with many stories of Rooseveltian triumphs are some bitter episodes - notably a devastating lynching - that remind us of America's deep prejudices and fears. Theodore Rex does not attempt to justify TR's notorious action following the Brownsville Incident of 1906 - his worst mistake as president - but neither does this resolutely honest biography indulge in the easy wisdom of hindsight. It is written throughout in real time, reflecting the world as TR saw it. By the final chapter, as the great "Teddy" prepares to quit the White House, it will be a hard-hearted listener who does not share the sentiment of Henry Adams: "The old house will seem dull and sad when my Theodore has gone."
Listen to a conversation with Edmund Morris.
©2001 Edmund Morris; (P)2001 Random House Audio, a Division of Random House Inc.
"Impeccably researched and beautifully composed, a dazzling portrait of the man....A book that is every bit as complex, engaging, and invigorating as the vibrant president it depicts." (Publishers Weekly)
Not every Audible book catches my immediate attention. In fact I have had to plod through several of them. Theordore Rex, however, caught my enthusiastic attention immediately and I could hardly put the book down (turn off my Audible player).
Of interest to an economics professor, this period of time was extremely active in the development of regulation of industry, anti-monopoly activites, and environmental consciousness. I had no idea just how active Roosevelt had been in these areas. Yet I am not a supporter of the term "robber barons" as the captains of industry in this time period have been labeled.
Listening to this book has been the most worthwhile time that I have spent in a long time.
Theodore Rex satisfied most of my criteria for a solidly good read/listen. It was entertaining. It put into context and perspective historical facts I had floating around after all those history classes. It peaked my interest in a new period of American and world history and gave me a focus for further reading.
I agree with previous reviewers who felt that some topics were covered thinly but also agree that nearly 8 years of a presidency is quite a lot to cover in a single volume. Discussions of the Panama Canal were thin indeed.
I recommend Theodore Rex to all who enjoy history, politics and biography. It definitely improved my drive time.
If the other reviewer noticed, this is the second book of a planned trilogy, and Audible has the book they really wanted, about his time before the presidency.
This was a really good biography. I don't know much about Teddy, but I'm sure there were some things left out due to just needing to cover nearly 8 years in a few hours, some sections just felt rushed. But all in all, I greatly appreciated learning about the President and all of the long term benefits he provided this country.
Since Theodore Roosevelt's career was actually supposed to have been "over" when he was made vice-president (considered a career killing appointment back then) I found it amazing at how he stepped up to the plate and handled the situations of the day. He was an agressive statesmen and powerful figure. I found the narrative enthralling and educational. I look forward to reading the other two companion editions to help me round out the life of this great man. I highly recommend this book, only wish it had been an unabridged rendition.
Loren wanted more before the presidency. I suggest "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt", by the same author, which covers Teddy's life from birth to the beginning of his presidency. It is excellent.
One of the best that I have listened to. The narrative was easy to follow and the narrator provided an excellent read.
The most compelling aspect of the narrative was the details provided that were not known to me about TR's life and how he made critical decisions during this time period.
I really don't have a favorite. I found the narrative as a hold to be exceptional.
After listening to The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt I was super primed to get immediately into Theodore Rex. But within the first half-hour I was becoming very aggravated with the reader. He seemed to put way to much emphasis on every word, every sentence. As if each was THE most important he would ever utter. I contemplated quitting and just reading the book myself, but hung in there. And that is the advice I give to those contemplating listening to Rex. After an hour or so he calms down and does a good job through the rest of the book. He is particularly good as changing up his voice when reading quotes.
If you liked The Rise you will probably be disappointed at how short Rex feels. It covers only one-fifth or so of the time that The Rise does, and it is action packed, so it flys by. I'm delaying listening to book three just because I don't want it to be over yet! I can only imagine how the American people who loved President Roosevelt must have felt when he left the Presidency. This great book gave me a taste of that. I highly recommend it.
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