All byÂ Edmund Morris. Â Hardcover trilogy set available for $68
In his own time Theodore Roosevelt was called â€œthe most interestingÂ Americanâ€ – an early biography even used that as the title. Â He was anÂ explorer, a hunter, a historian, a rancher, a soldier, New York CityÂ Police Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of NewÂ York, Vice President of the United States, and, of course, President. Â He explored an unknown Brazilian river that now bears his name,Â founded a new political party, won the Nobel Peace Prize, andÂ posthumously received the Medal of Honor, the only US President toÂ receive it.
Written over 30 years, these three volumes by Edmund Morris cover theÂ entire life and times of Theodore Roosevelt and constitute one of theÂ finest biographies available. Â â€œThe Rise of Theodore Rooseveltâ€ coversÂ his family history, his early years, and his first steps intoÂ politics. Â The book ends with the assassination of President McKinleyÂ and the swearing in of Roosevelt as the 26th President. â€œTheodore Rexâ€Â covers the presidency itself (and is in fact not a novelization of theÂ talking dinosaur/buddy cop movie starring Whoopi Goldberg). Â The final ten years of hisÂ life, when he was the â€œmost famous man in the world,â€ are described inÂ â€œColonel Roosevelt.â€ Â This includes a harrowing account of anÂ assassination attempt: â€œManiac In Milwaukee Shoots Col. Roosevelt; HeÂ Ignores Wound, Speaks An Hour, Goes To Hospitalâ€ read the New YorkÂ Times headline.
Morris is such a fine writer and Roosevelt such a captivating subjectÂ that even the most wonkish political details are compulsivelyÂ readable. Â The scope of Rooseveltâ€™s accomplishments require Morris toÂ often address the political issues of the day (youâ€™re going to learnÂ about the importance of tariff reciprocity with Canada to the TaftÂ administration) but he also captures Rooseveltâ€™s uninhibited,Â exuberant nature, such as his habit of galloping on horseback throughÂ parks while President, firing at tree stumps with his revolver.
Three books barely seem adequate to chart the life of Theodore Roosevelt.