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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)2001 Random House Audio, a Division of Random House 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

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    192
  • 4 Stars
    178
  • 3 Stars
    76
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    122
  • 4 Stars
    65
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    109
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    7
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    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An attention getter

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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent narration, definitely abridged

Went with the abridged version since the narration for the unabridged was so poorly rated across the board. Harry Chase did a remarkable job here, incredibly captivating! It definitely felt abridged as it moved along at a pretty quick pace.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great biography

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Embarrasingly a little over my head.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, the historical education was worth it.

Would you recommend Theodore Rex to your friends? Why or why not?

Not as much as I would recommend the Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, which had a better narrator and was more interesting since it had many segways away from politics and the technicalities of foreign policy.

What three words best describe Harry Chase’s voice?

Not as good as Mark Deakins

Was Theodore Rex worth the listening time?

Yes

Any additional comments?

To much politics, foreign policy, and social commentary for my simple taste. the Rise of Theodore Roosevelt read like an adventure novel by contrast.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Very well written with excellant narration. I was very pleased at the way the book was read and I recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A President Of Circumstance

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Well worth the listening.

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Read the Prequel First

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Now I Know Why Teddy Is On Mt. Rushmore

I read the abridged version of the second volume in Edmund Morris' trilogy biography of Teddy Roosevelt, which hit the high points of his two terms in office. This is an interesting read for anyone catching up on turn of the century history especially because several of Roosevelt's policies are still relevant today.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

5 Stars, but very abridged

Gave this book 5 Stars because it does everything it promises. It's very abridged, has a great narrator, and is still excellently written.

I Originally wanted to listen to the unabridged version, but that narrator was probably the worst narrator I've ever heard so I wasn't able to get through that. If you're like me, understand that this version is only 8 hours, and definitely goes over things quickly. If you're looking for an in-depth book like the unabridged version of "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" you will be slightly disappointed. I listened to all of "Theodore Rex" and enjoyed it, but after it ended felt a little empty inside.