The Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt
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Theodore Roosevelt’s writing has the same verve, panache, and energy as the life he lived. Perhaps no president in U.S. history—not even Jefferson—had so many opinions and intellectual interests, believed in so many causes, or worked so hard to translate his beliefs into action. A hard-headed idealist, an unabashed interventionist, a crusader on behalf of environmental preservation and against big business ”trusts,” he was also a writer of uncommon grace and passion with a gift for the memorable phrase. His autobiography, one of the two or three finest ever written by a U.S. president, abounds in exciting episodes of personal transformation and insights into the bitter politics of the day. Roosevelt was a sickly youth who steeled himself for a life of vigor, growing up surrounded by wealth in nineteenth-century Manhattan but vacationing in the West, where he rode with cowboys and learned to revere and study the natural world. His book describes his early failures in his political career and his ascent from the New York City police board to assistant secretary of the Navy where he advocated war with Spain, to his brief stint and public renown as a Rough Rider; and on to the governorship of New York, vice presidency under McKinley, and finally the presidency itself. Elting Morison’s new introduction analyzes what Roosevelt has included—and not included—about his many political conflicts, his role in the acquisition of the Panama Canal, and the deaths of his wife and his mother.As everywhere in his writing, the personality of T.R.—alert, voluble, forceful, compassionate—shines forth from this book, which remains a singular study of a dynamic and, in many respects, exemplary man who was also a key figure in the Age of Reform.
Senators in drafting and pushing the bill, which became known by his name, was Newlands. The draft of the bill was worked over by me and others at several conferences and revised in important particulars; my active interference was necessary to prevent it from being made unworkable by an undue insistence upon States Rights, in accordance with the efforts of Mr. Mondell and other Congressmen, who consistently fought for local and private interests as against the interests of the people as a whole.
effective control of either. On the other hand, a few men recognized that corporations and combinations had become indispensable in the business world, that it was folly to try to prohibit them, but that it was also folly to leave them without thoroughgoing control. These men realized that the doctrines of the old laissez faire economists, of the believers in unlimited competition, unlimited individualism, were in the actual state of affairs false and mischievous. They realized that the
brutality inflicted and endured, the aggregate of hideous wrong done, surpassed that of any war of which we have record in modern times. Until people get it firmly fixed in their minds that peace is valuable chiefly as a means to righteousness, and that it can only be considered as an end when it also coincides with righteousness, we can do only a limited amount to advance its coming on this earth. There is of course no analogy at present between international law and private or municipal law,
of his researches Mike had been puzzled by an unimportant bill, seemingly related to a Constitutional amendment, introduced by a local saloon-keeper, whose interests, as far as we knew, were wholly remote from the Constitution, or from any form of abstract legal betterment. However, the measure seemed harmless; we did not interfere; and it passed the House. Mike, however, followed its career in the Senate, and at the last moment, almost by accident, discovered that it had been "amended" by the
below. In addition we would usually send representatives to the Yellowstone round-up, and to the round-up along the upper Little Missouri; and, moreover, if we heard that cattle had drifted, perhaps toward the Indian reservation southeast of us, we would send a wagon and rider after them. At the meeting-point, which might be in the valley of a half-dry stream, or in some broad bottom of the river itself, or perchance by a couple of ponds under some queerly shaped butte that was a landmark for