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Publisher's Summary

The surprising story of intrepid naturalist Theodore Roosevelt and how his lifelong passion for the natural world set the stage for America's wildlife conservation movement.

Perhaps no American president is more associated with nature and wildlife than Theodore Roosevelt, a prodigious hunter and adventurer and an ardent conservationist. We think of Roosevelt as an original, yet in The Naturalist, Darrin Lunde shows how from his earliest days Roosevelt actively modeled himself in the proud tradition of museum naturalists - the men who pioneered a key branch of American biology through their desire to collect animal specimens and develop a taxonomy of the natural world. The influence these men would have on Roosevelt would shape not just his personality but his career, informing his work as a politician and statesman and ultimately affecting generations of Americans' relationships to this country's wilderness.

Pulling from Roosevelt's diaries and expedition journals, Lunde constructs a brilliantly researched, singularly insightful history that reveals the roots of Roosevelt's enduring naturalist legacy through the group of little-known men whose work and lives defined his own.

©2016 Darrin Lunde (P)2016 Random House Audio

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What listeners say about The Naturalist

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  • Overall
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Great book for hunters and nature lovers!

Wonderful story of an amazing American. This book is a must-read for any naturalist, no matter what their beliefs on hunting are. Roosevelt was a true 'Conservationist' and he showed that there is a need and value for the hunter in the maintenance of populations of wild animals. Roosevelt was integral in our philosophy of conservation ethics.

5 people found this helpful

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One side of a many-sided man

Teddy Roosevelt was one of the greatest presidents in American History and he had a great passion for the outdoors. This is not the most complete biography, but it is an interesting facet of Roosevelt's life and motivations.

8 people found this helpful

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Very Interesting

I found this book interesting and learned more about TR and other Naturalists of his time.

I liked how the author tackled the issue regarding hunter-naturalists as opposed to non hunter-naturalists. I side with Roosevelt!

The only reason I did not give the book five stars is I felt the story stopped before it had truly ended. I understand and appreciate the story staying focused primarily on Roosevelt’s Naturalist activities, but am perplexed at why the adventure on the River of Doubt (Rio Roosevelt) was not included.

Overall, I enjoyed the narrative and the more in-depth information that was included.

6 people found this helpful

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Specific history of Roosevelt’s admiration of wildlife

This was a wonderfully informative book about Roosevelt’s keen interest in wildlife and the lengths he went to to document and discover as many species as he could. I was a bit skeptical of buying this audio book on account of the negative reviews stating this is a blood thirsty account of Roosevelt’s carnal desires. Thankfully those review are biased and hold no ground. Roosevelt paves the way for hunters today.

1 person found this helpful

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Informative and interesting

First, the narrator is wonderful. It's easy to drone on a topic like this but he was able to keep my interest without going over the top.
The book itself is what you'd expect from the title. It's a comprehensive look on Teddy Roosevelt's naturalist life. I was expecting more about the west but was pleasantly surprised with the stories about Africa.
Wonderful if you're a Roosevelt fan.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful Telling of a President Naturalist

Thoroughly enjoyed the book- great insight into an era that seems long since past. My only complaint is that the book completely left out Roosevelt's trip with John Muir into Yosemite (which I was looking forward to learning about it from this naturalist perspective- even the cover of the book was taken during this trip, and not even a mention!).

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The Naturalist

Interesting to learn Roosevelt's role in shaping the museums that we now love and enjoy today. The naturalist explains Roosevelt's passion for hunting and animal study and how those two things intertwine. First book purchased thru Audible, mad at myself for not getting a subscription years ago!

3 people found this helpful

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get your adventure and the natural world in 1900s

loved it! really good presentation and it flowed nicely. great in-depth look into the outdoorsy nature and side of theodore roosevelt. Good for any nature lover, history lovers, or outdoor enthusiast.

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Somewhat interesting, but flaws

Having finished Edmund Morris’ Roosevelt trilogy, I was eager for another view of this iconic American. While this certainly provides a different focus, and does well to showcase how accomplished Roosevelt was as a naturalist, it does drag a bit, and seems to be overly repetitive of its main thesis throughout without expanding the narrative. When the author suggests Roosevelt was eager to quit to presidency so he could hunt more, he lost me. I finished the book, but it took effort.

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Roosevelt is a man, in all dimensions, to admire.

I have been an avid reader of all things Teddy Roosevelt. The man stands without peer, well almost, in the field of conservation and living large with the great outdoors. He was a true visionary. I recommend this book to anyone seeking to start to know the man, or to anyone looking to round-out what they already know about him.