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Publisher's Summary

The most eagerly awaited presidential biography in years, Theodore Rex begins by following new president Theodore Roosevelt as he takes his emergency oath of office in Buffalo, upon the assassination of President McKinley one hundred years ago. Theodore Rex, full of cinematic detail, moves with the exhilarating pace of a novel, yet it rides on a granite base of scholarship.

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)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Amazing book.

Literally one of the greatest Americans to ever live. As a leader, it's amazing to be able to learn all that he accomplished and try to emulate. This book paints a picture of the spirit of not only Roosevelt but of modern America. Highly recommend.

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great president

they do not make them like they used to. great narrative, good narration, and many of the same issues - immigration, tension between capital and labor, regulation vs. laissez faire - that we are grappling with today. highly recommend.

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  • ck
  • 01-22-17

Audio skips a few times

Sometimes a few sentences repeat. Still a good book. This book could have been a trilogy unto itself.

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Excellent well research biography

Only one problem and honestly I lost count - there were at least 25 repeated sentences - as in take one and take two of the reading. I assume there must some "proof listening" in the production, but in this case many were missed. Otherwise it was a great listen as it was a great read.

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best

I have read and listened to several biographies of Theodore Roosevelt. This is by far the best. The narrator did a very good job.

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A good book, but not a Rex

Both text and narration aim to emulate Teddy's own indomitable character, but instead become monotonous.

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Captures the essence of a larger than life figure

Love the research and writing as well as how it is read. Recommend reading The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt (Audible version is abridged) first to broaden understanding of this amazing man. Appropriate for all ages but his life is a great example for young people on how to live life to its fullest.

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Great!

Takes a while for the narrator to warm up, and he never approaches the one for the rise of....but we'll worth a listen!

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Good, but not as good as Rise

I enjoyed this book, which is no surprise given how much I loved Morris's excellent The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. I can't say, however, that I enjoyed it to the same extent. While Teddy's time in the White House was interesting, occasionally exciting, and often inspiring, I found the political maneuvering and technical policy details significantly less compelling than the personal journey to power laid out in Rise. And although I should attribute this complaint to history rather than Morris, I found Teddy himself less relatable and human in this entry. I don't fault Morris for these issues; he has done a masterful job of pulling together a veritable mountain of historical sources into an entertaining whole. Even so, I can't say I was affected by Rex in the same way I was by Rise.

One final note: The narrator's complete unwillingness to use accents or vary his voice seriously detracted from my enjoyment of the book. His monotone never changes, and that becomes a major problem in a book more than 20 hours long. Also, the narrator's irritating habit of drawing out the end of words into a long, strange, raspy sort of growl forced me to listen at 1.4 speed to avoid frustration. I will not purchase another book narrated by this man.

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very detailed but very dry

the book was very good from a historical standpoint. However it was hard to make it through some chapters because of the amount of detail included. No doubt the author did his research. it was just not as fun as the first book to listen to.