Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense

The Courtroom Battle to Save His Legacy
Narrated by: Roger Wayne, Dan Abrams
Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (131 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times Best Seller

A Mental Floss Book to Read in Summer 2019

"Gripping.... Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense is a must-read." (NPRA

President on Trial. A Reputation at Stake.

ABC News legal correspondent and host of LIVE PD Dan Abrams reveals the story of Teddy Roosevelt's last stand - an epic courtroom battle against corruption - in this thrilling follow-up to the New York Times best seller Lincoln's Last Trial.

"No more dramatic courtroom scene has ever been enacted," reported the Syracuse Herald on May 22, 1915, as it covered "the greatest libel suit in history", a battle fought between former President Theodore Roosevelt and the leader of the Republican party. Roosevelt, the boisterous and mostly beloved legendary American hero, had accused his former friend and ally, now turned rival, William Barnes of political corruption. The furious Barnes responded by suing Roosevelt for an enormous sum that could have financially devastated him.

The spectacle of Roosevelt defending himself in a lawsuit captured the imagination of the nation, and more than 50 newspapers sent reporters to cover the trial. Accounts from inside and outside the courtroom combined with excerpts from the trial transcript give us Roosevelt in his own words and serve as the heart of Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense.

This was Roosevelt's final fight to defend his political legacy, and perhaps regain his fading stature. He spent more than a week on the witness stand, revealing hidden secrets of the American political system, and then endured a merciless cross-examination. Witnesses including a young Franklin D. Roosevelt and a host of well-known political leaders were questioned by two of the most brilliant attorneys in the country.

Following the case through court transcripts, news reports, and other primary sources, Dan Abrams and David Fisher present a high-definition picture of the American legal system in a nation standing on the precipice of the Great War, with its former president fighting for the ideals he held dear.

©2019 Dan Abrams (P)2019 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

Critic Reviews

"This beautifully-wrought story of Theodore Roosevelt’s defense of his claims of corruption in New York State politics has intense echoes today. Abrams and Fisher do a superb job of clearly presenting the issues in this remarkable and intensely dramatic trial." (Scott Turow)

What listeners say about Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense

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  • Overall
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An Absorbing Read

As a resident of the Syracuse area, I had heard about this trial, but I’m grateful to Abrams and Fisher for bringing this amazing event back to “life.” The story was fascinating, the performance was excellent, and as a lawyer myself, I thought that the trial showed our system of justice at its very best.

5 people found this helpful

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Not bad. Not great

The book was decent. It keeps you guessing about the verdict. It did lag at times. I feel like it could have been 5 chapters shorter.

3 people found this helpful

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Great Courtroom Drama

This was billed as the “The Trial of the Century” in 1915. This is a new book (May 2019) by Dan Abrams telling about the most covered trial in May 1915. The case was William Barnes vs Theodore Roosevelt a libel suit. Of course, Abrams points out this case would not have occurred today with the changes in the libel laws. The book is well written and researched. I found the battle of words and personalities between Theodore Roosevelt and Barnes’ attorney William M. Ivins exciting. Abrams provides some exciting courtroom drama along with what is different in the laws of then and now. This book discusses issues of political corruption and rich people buying elections that apply today. The book is twelve hours and four minutes. Roger Wayne does a good job narrating the book. Wayne is an actor and audiobook narrator.

4 people found this helpful

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Fascinating but...

This little known (certainly to me but I am going to assume that most people know nothing of it) was fascinating. But perhaps because it had to do with the minutiae of what takes place in a courtroom it was a bit lumbering and cumbersome at times. But, I still found it quite enjoyable.

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Can be enjoyed by everyone! Bipartisan political story.

A fascinating story told engagingly - I was transfixed throughout. I’ve never thought I’d be so in love with a politician as I now am with Teddy Roosevelt! You will not need to be aligned with Roosevelt’s political views or actions to admire the great man he obviously was. And what a character - I can’t help but think of Robin Williams portrayal of Teddy Roosevelt in Night at the Museum!

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Interesting

I enjoyed this look into history. Learned some things I didn't know about Theodore Roosevelt and civil lawsuits of the era.

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Evan's Review

Interested book. After reading Lincoln Last Trial I had to read this book. If you like Theodore Roosevelt this book will interest you because it missing in his biography in most cases. in listen to the book how would the press of today look at the colorful life of Theodore Roosevelt.

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Not your typical story...

I'm a huge TR fan, and I only knew small bits and pieces about this last major courtroom battle he fought. I expected this to be dryer that 3 week old toast. I was greatly mistaken. This story is brought to life by the author. I felt as if I were actually there in Syracuse in 1915. If you are a fan of history, a fan of court cases, or a fan of Theodore Roosevelt, do yourself a favor. this book is really fun.

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Very entertaining

A really good story for anyone interested in TR or libel law. Goes into a lot of detail and brings the courtroom alive.

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Thrilling

I loved it, but then again, I was a trial lawyer for decades...not sure if that enthusiasm would be shared by a layperson

1 person found this helpful