“The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” is a fair and balanced biography, as far as biographies go – because it’s author, Edmund Morris, displays an obvious affection, insight and keen sense of empathy for his subject.
Morris combines an intellectually stimulating and literate historical narrative (this reads like a novel, an this was helpful to me) with brilliantly insightful historical analysis for perspective.
We learn a great deal about Roosevelt’s less attractive qualities such as his impulsiveness, his emotionalism, and his attempts at self glorification, among others. But, these elements of the man make him so much more interesting, especially relative to his role in history, and our United States emerging place as a global leader. Here is the powerfully eloquent story of one of the most gifted and controversial men of the twentieth century, and perhaps even of all time.
I find myself both reminded and astonished over Roosevelt’s complete makeover as a man and thought leader. I’m also regretful over the realization that, today, we may be missing a level of gentility exhibited by Roosevelt and his Rough Riders (many fellow Harvard graduates), Prudent and Optimistic Gentlemen, all.
Not since I read William Manchester’s two-volume “The Last Lion” biography of Winston Churchill have I relished a book that’s as good as “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.”
It gets better yet, reader. I’ve only just learned that the book will now see a different light under the hand of Martin Scorsese who is adapting it for the silver screen (okay, the digital screen, these days. it’s just that, to me, “silver screen” sounds so much more romantic, and dramatic).
It’s not often I state things like this, but I’d love to have a small part, as a Rough Rider, in that film. That’s so my self-image.
Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
Brian Patrick Cork