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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

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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simply wonderful

words fail me, how do you describe a book of this magnitude. as I said this book is simply wonderful!!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Doris' usual excellent quality.

A high quality history narrative for a casual and passive history reader. Well done.

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Great book!

I learned so very much! I knew practically nothing of Taft...this book has made me what to learn so much more of both men.

Doris Goodwin Kearns is the "best"! I wish she would write about Lodge & Wilson!!

Thank you Audible!!

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Doris Kearns Goodwin and Edward Hermann perfect!

If you could sum up The Bully Pulpit in three words, what would they be?

Dynamic, Hypnotic, Engaging

Who was your favorite character and why?

I love William Howard Taft, he is an underrated president and historical figure, he has yet to get his due. Between he and Nellie (his dedicated wife and advisory) they made quite the impact on America.

What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

Edward Hermann is always a favorite reader of mine, I love his cadence and the nuance he highlights in the text.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Close Friendship turned rival adversaries.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Tough to get through

Loved 'No Ordinary Time's and 'All if Rivals'' this was very hard to get through. Topic was not nearly as engaging.

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To Know Them is to Love Them

DK Goodwin brings us history in the rich tapestry it deserves. I cried at end.

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A good book

I got this book because I loved Team of Rivals. I found this book was not a bit more challenging & actually dragged on at times. I love the historical depth given to support the story. Overall, it was a good read, just a bit tedious at times.

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GREAT TALE...

Very enjoyable - Learned much about T.R. and W.H. Taft. Muckraking tales quite interesting, too. Well done!

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So much of what we hold dear today...

This book is delightfully written to entertain while it educates on two pillars of the US government from early 20th century. The national parks, the cherry blossom trees in DC, the transfer of progressive ideals away from the Republican party to the Democratic party. If you are interested in US history, you will not be disappointed in this.

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Teddy and Will

I did not realize the book was about Teddy Roosevelt and Will Taft. I listened to the first section again to get the story in my head. I had not followed that the story was jumping from Teddy to Taft I love political biographies. I learned so much.