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Publisher's Summary

Between February 24, 1912, when TR came out of political retirement to challenge William Howard Taft for the Republican Party's nomination for president, and June 23 of that year, Roosevelt and his supporters created and benefited from 13 new presidential primaries, the first in the nation's history. Stressing the importance of primaries, TR's campaign theme became "the right of the people to rule". Though Roosevelt won about 70 percent of the delegates selected by public vote, it was not enough to overcome the power of party bosses and entrenched interests. He walked out of the convention to create the Bull Moose Party but then shocked many of his strongest supporters by excluding all black delegates from the Deep South.

©2016 Geoffrey Cowan. Recorded by arrangement with W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Let the People Rule shows how the political and social turmoil of that landmark year changed politics in ways that provide important lessons for America today. A suspenseful narrative, replete with larger-than-life personalities, and a must-read backstory for anyone concerned with the history and fate of a democracy that, at its best, aims to 'Let the People Rule'." (Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University professor, Harvard University)
"You wouldn't think that there would be anything new to say about Theodore Roosevelt by now. But Geoffrey Cowan has brought to life a fascinating part of TR's story usually left out of the history books. He tells it with verve and suspense, warts and all, his insights deepened by his own impressive background as a democracy activist." (Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914 - 1918)
"Geoffrey Cowan's Let the People Rule rips the lid off of the 1912 presidential election. Cowan brilliantly illuminates everything from the birth of the political primary system to the disenfranchisement of African Americans to egos writ large. The narrative has a marvelous flow and the research is superb." (Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University and author of The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America)

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