Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Review: Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris

As mentioned in a previous post, over the last few months I have been exploring the life and times of Theodore Roosevelt, and it has been a fascinating journey. Pulitzer Prize award winner Edmund Morris wrote Theodore Rex as the second part of the trilogy he composed telling the story of the life of the former President of the United States.

Theodore Rex picks up where The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt ends. President William McKinley has just been assassinated, and Roosevelt is now the President of the United States. Just as I felt when I was reading the first part of the trilogy, I am utterly amazed at what a deeply principled person Roosevelt was, and just how progressive he was. During a time when "Big Business" seemed to be dominating much of the landscape of America, Roosevelt stood for a fair wage for Americans. He threatened intervention and takeover with the military when one particular industry was threatening the lives of all-Americans through its greed. His activities garnered him the label of "Socialist" by his enemies.

He was definitely incredibly progressive for his time, and based on Morris' account, I wonder what today's media would do with a President like TR. He was a radical reformer, and he is the first President to dine with an African American in the White House. He commenced massive efforts to conserve natural resources and wilderness areas. He built up the US military for the sake of national security, and had a keen awareness of global developments. And he regularly wrestled, grappled, and fought people at the White House in order to stay in good physical condition. In much the same vein, he saw himself wrestling and grappling for the cause of right.

If you have an opportunity, I highly recommend reading about Roosevelt, and to learn about his Presidency, Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris is a great place to start. Roosevelt took his role as President extremely seriously, and his life is an example to each of us of the greed need our world has for each one of us to live our lives to the fullest and to work toward making a difference where we are.

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