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The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism


The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

ratings:
4.5/5 (27 ratings)
Length:
16 hours
Released:
Nov 5, 2013
ISBN:
9781442353183
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

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Description

After Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin wields her magic on another larger-than-life president, and another momentous and raucous American time period as she brings Theodore Roosevelt, the muckraking journalists, and the Progressive Era to life.

As she focused on the relationships between Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in No Ordinary Time, and on Lincoln and his Team in Team of Rivals, Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the "muckraking" press-including legendary journalists Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, William Allen White, and editor Sam McClure-Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business. The rupture between the two led Roosevelt to run against Taft for president, an ultimately futile race that resulted in the election of Democrat Woodrow Wilson and the diminishment of Theodore Roosevelt's progressive wing of the Republican Party.

Like Goodwin's chronicles of the Civil War and the Great Depression, The Bully Pulpit describes a time in our history that enlightened and changed the country, ushered in the modern age, and produced some unforgettable men and women.
Released:
Nov 5, 2013
ISBN:
9781442353183
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Doris Kearns Goodwin es una historiadora presidencial de renombre mundial, oradora pública y ganadora del Premio Pulitzer, autora de libros best-seller del New York Times. Su séptimo libro, Liderazgo en tiempos turbulentos, fue publicado en septiembre de 2018 se convirtió en un éxito de ventas instantáneo en el New York Times. Una culminación de la carrera de cinco décadas de Goodwin de estudiar a los presidentes estadounidenses, el libro proporciona una hoja de ruta accesible y esencial para los aspirantes y líderes establecidos en todos los campos y para todos nosotros en nuestra vida cotidiana. Bien conocida por sus apariciones y comentarios en la televisión, Goodwin aparece con frecuencia en todas las principales cadenas de televisión y cable, y en programas como Meet the Press y Late Show con Stephen Colbert. Entre sus muchos honores y galardones. Goodwin recibió el Premio Charles Frankel, otorgado por la Fundación Nacional para las Humanidades, la Medalla Sarah Josepha Hale, el Premio del Libro de Nueva Inglaterra y el Premio Literario Carl Sandburg. Vive en Concord, Massachusetts.


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What people think about The Bully Pulpit

4.5
27 ratings / 38 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Another instant classic by Goodwin! What a fantastic read about one of my favorites - Theodore Roosevelt - and his good friend (and later rival) William Howard Taft. Included in this dual-biography are great chapters on the journalists at McClure's magazine including Steffens, Baker, and Tarbell. This book does a fantastic job capturing the issues, the politics, the drama, and the history of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Goodwin writes her narrative in a way that is easy to read, contains great detail yet moves the story along, and helps the reader understand the characters through their own words. Could not recommend this book enough to anyone who enjoys history or simply a great story.
  • (4/5)
    Enjoyed this immensely. The story of the friendship of Taft and Roosevelt, how Roosevelt became the first truly media-savvy President, and the heady first years of the Progressive era makes me yearn for a time when ideas mattered, when seemingly arcane subjects like tariff reform captured the publics attention.
  • (3/5)
    I highly recommend Peri Arnold's, Remaking the Presidency as an analysis of Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson. As Arnold demonstrates, it was less Taft's personality, as Goodwin describes, and more his lack of executive experience and understanding of how the presidency was changing in the early years of the twentieth century. Although Roosevelt and Wilson both had some different ideas on what the presidency had evolved into, they both understood that the office had changed in ways that Taft had not.
  • (4/5)
    I read this absorbing, but extremely long book because Teddy Roosevelt is my favorite President, I've always admired the muckraking journalists who wrote for McClure's magazine and because my great grandfather was the foreman of the Grand Jury who brought in the indictments against the Swift & Armour trusts. i knew very little about Taft - other than the fact that he was enormously fat - but have to say that my opinion of him has risen immensely because, in the end, he may just be the hero of this tale.Doris Kearns Goodwin writes well researched, yet accessible history and it's easy to get drawn into the story she tells. My only complaint is that, like may good researchers, she has a hard time leaving any of it in the drawer, and there were several places where the book went into way too much detail for the average reader.Still the story of how politics almost destroyed the lifelong friendship of Roosevelt sand Taft is compelling, and ultimately sad. Taft, in the end, proves that he is the better person willing to forgive and forget while Roosevelt appears small and peevish by comparison.The muckrakers are a more straight forward heroic story with Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, Upton Sinclair, et. al, all raising cane and taking names at the late, great, McClurde's magazine and bringing down the railroads, Standard Oil and the aforementioned meat trusts.It was an exciting time to live and this book demonstrates what can happen when an activist President and crusading journalists unite to do great things. However, like all great times, the air ultimately runs out of the balloon and the pendulum swings in another political direction. TR and Taft were followed by Woodrow Wilson, World War I, the first "Red Scare" and the corrupt politics of the 1920's. It took a world-wide financial crisis to bring the nest reformer (ironically another Roosevelt) into office.
  • (5/5)
    Similar issues as today, yet somehow a more genteel resolution. Beautifully read and proving once again that real life characters are the best
  • (5/5)
    I loved the sense of really understanding the character of both men. I gained an appreciation of Taft as a sensitive and thoughtful person, and though Roosevelt was a great and dynamic individual in many ways he lacked empathy. Wonderful and very interesting book.
  • (5/5)
    A doorstop of a book but well worth the effort. A perfect read for this election season; plus ca change.
  • (3/5)
    A combination of Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and how the current press figured into their campaigns & presidencies. I was a bit disappointed that the journalism parts seemed to get short shrift. Most of the Roosevelt information was the same as I had read in other books on Roosevelt, and I suspect I'll find the same Taft information in the Taft biography. Written very well but long and it didn't seem to know where to settle.
  • (4/5)
    This book is a dual biography of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. The two men are opposites in many ways. Roosevelt was sickly as a child but grew up to be a muscular outdoorsman, while Taft a talented young athlete as a young man grew sedentary with age leading to his notorious girth. Roosevelt had a lot of charisma but his arrogance could get the best of him, while Taft was genuinely kind almost to a fault. The two grew to be political allies and friends. Despite both being born into wealthy and powerful families, and adherents of the pro-business ideology of the Republican party, they both became leading Progressives chipping away at the power of big business and the wealthy class. Things seem to go well until Roosevelt retires and Taft becomes his successor as President. Taft has to work to make an impression in his predecessor's shadow, not at all helped when Roosevelt turns against Taft for not being Progressive enough. The election of 1912 turns out to be an ugly one as Roosevelt runs against Taft for the Republican nomination - one of the earliest campaigns with statewide primaries and candidates campaigning on their own behalf - and leading to a raucous convention. Taft wins the nomination, Roosevelt splits off to run on his own "Bull Moose" Progressive ticket, but the damage is done for both men.This book also focuses on the muckraking journalists of the Progressive Era such as Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, and S.S. McClure who both inspired and prodded Roosevelt and Taft. This part of the book is both very interesting, but also feels both like a long tangent from the Roosevelt/Taft biography and short shrift for the muckrakers who deserve a book of their own.
  • (4/5)
    This book is, overall, very good, but it lacks focus. Yes, the part about the muckrakers is interesting and important historically, but way too long. (I believe the part would have made a wonderful book about progressive journalism at the turn of the 20th century.) I also feel the part about Taft's governorship in the Philippines is too long and not integral to the story. Nevertheless, the Roosevelt and Taft are brought to life. Ms. Goodwin's writing is easy to read and never gets in the way of the story. The last part of her book, which focuses on Roosevelt and Taft's parting of the ways, is a page turner. Finally, I learned a lot from this book, and I'm glad I read it.
  • (5/5)
    This was a fantastic slant on the American political history of the early 20th century. Similar to, but not quite a biography, The Bully Pulpit tells of the first two Presidents of the last century. I've long been interested in Theodore Roosevelt and his surprisingly progressive Presidency. Elected by the Republican machine to maintain the status quo, TR surprised everyone with his campaign of trust busting. The Bully Pulpit is more than a retelling of this story. It tells of the important role that William Howard Taft played in the TR administration, the warm personal friendship between the two men, and TR's efforts to pass the Presidency and his legacy to a reluctant WHT. When TR returns from a post-Presidential African safari, he is displeased with his old friend's administration. He is also bored out of his skin. The cure to both conditions is an effort to retake the Presidency. The result is the temporary destruction of the Republican party.Also a major part of the book is the story of muck-raking journalism. There was a time when good investigative journalism in this country roused public opinion against the powerful entrenched interests, and motivated politicians to make fundamental changes to benefit the masses. Of course, these were the days before Americans sat for hours mesmerized by glowing screens. The story of how the public was once mobilized behind McClure's magazine and writers such as Ida Tarbell, Ray Baker, and William Allen White was completely fascinating. I highly recommend this book.
  • (4/5)
    Wow! What a dizzying, delicious read; for several days, Doris Kearns Goodwin's latest history of American Presidential leadership at its best kept my attention from first to last. Reading it was enjoyable like a great, thrilling novel can be; my consciousness was consumed by the narrative.In many ways, I found The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism reminiscent of Goodwin's excellent presentation of President Lincoln's unique approach to the Presidency and the personal qualities that shaped that successful strategy. In this work, a time of exciting change, danger and opportunity is the setting for unique, fascinating characters to make their respective marks on our national history in surprising and impressive ways. The accurate and thorough grounding in time and place serves as a mere backdrop to the actions of individuals within the narrative, or rather, the political situation is presented within the narrative as material that sets great human forces in motion. Of course, the context is ultimately of singular importance since only in the effects of actions related do we find the historical significance to the country. It's impressive to me that without undermining that context or giving it short shrift, Goodwin invites the reader to feel and perceive the actions of these great leaders on a personal level. I am aware and should let you, my fellow readers, know that I may be attributing too much intention to Goodwin's crafting of the work. I haven't close read this book on any level; I swept through it. I describe its qualities based on what ultimately engaged my heart and mind completely -- the human drama -- and there was no dearth of material to substantiate that interest. It could be I've greatly overstated the particular emphasis on this element. I recommend this book highly to any who are interested in the people or political situation involved; I knew only general information about this book's subject matter. For me, that made it even more of a purely pleasurable read than was Team of Rivals; I was happy to learn so much! I would especially encourage readers with a particular affection for reading dynamic historical biographies to try this book (and other work by Goodwin if you have not yet). Don't be intimidated by the book's heft; Goodwin is a clear writer who tells a seamless story in the context of a sophisticated analysis of the history.I plan to read this book again at some point; I will do so more slowly so that I may pay greater attention to Goodwin's craft. This review will be updated with whatever more specific insights I pick up at that time. Please be advised that I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program on the sole condition I would publish an honest review once I read the work. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts; I hope they are helpful to some of you.
  • (5/5)
    A superb analysis of early 20th century American politics, highlighting the political career of Theodore Roosevelt. Goodwin uses the growth in investigative journalism in this period to contrast the, what we would call, 'modern' approach to politics and its relationship with the press used by Roosevelt and the more traditional/conservative approach by William Howard Taft, Roosevelt's successor in the White House. Goodwin uses the breakdown of the relationship between Roosevelt and Taft (and their eventual reconciliation) to highlight the changing political landscape in America.Goodwin writes with a strong narrative feel and this book fairly charges along and is much easier, more enjoyable and faster(!) to read than its length might suggest.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent Book. It challenged my impression and opinion of T. Roosevelt, and has prompted me to start thinking more carefully about Taft. After reading TR's autobiography in 2000, I became enchanged with his disenchantment with the Republican party... while I still frustrated there, this book has helped clarify many suspicions I have had about a lost 3d way in the transition of the GOP into the party of conservativism and the Democrats into the party of liberalism.
  • (4/5)
    Well, last year it was James Garfield and Roscoe Conkling, and this year it's William Taft: my familiarity with long-dead politicians is expanding dramatically. While I wouldn't go so far as one professional reviewer, who gushed "think *The West Wing* scripted by Henry James" as if at a Hollywood pitch meeting, I agree that Goodwin takes the politics and mores of a largely forgotten time and makes them as vivid as the present-day Washington news. Before this, I knew a little about Roosevelt and next to nothing about Taft, and now I feel like I almost knew both men personally. And I soon found myself liking Taft, a true conservative by temperament and ideology, a great deal. I even found myself reluctant to push on through the end of the book, when I knew the great friendship between Roosevelt and Taft would founder and fall into bitter acrimony.Aside from the great entertainment offered by a portrait of great personalities, I loved learning about the Progressive Age, the brief spate of correction to the excesses of the first Gilded Age, when American politicians first talked seriously about the government's obligation to provide a social safety net and to rein in the power of the greatest corporations. Today, when even the politicians of the Left lean right, it's refreshing to read about a time when the politicians of the Right leaned left. This is a book to get lost in, partly for fun, and partly for rebalancing.
  • (4/5)
    hew! That was a long one. It was excellent, though maybe a bit TR heavy. But that is how the relationship between TR and Taft was, TR sprinting ahead and dragging everyone in his wake while Taft plods along but still makes progress. Very well written and researched with a bonus focus on the progressive journalism of the time and how much of mutual relationship they had with TR.
  • (5/5)
    This excellent history has three threads: the relationship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, the rise and influence of investigative, long-form journalism, and Roosevelt's pioneering use of the press to achieve political ends. Any one of these would make a good book in itself, but their inclusion in a single volume allows Goodwin to illuminate each discussion in the context of the other two. This is a thoroughly enjoyable book and some of the parallels to the interplay of the media and politics today should be more widely known and discussed.
  • (4/5)
    Well, how can you go wrong with a book by Doris Kearns Goodwin? She is definitely one of the top writers and populizers of American History now working. The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism is no exception. Beautifully written as all of her books are, this provides a unique take on the lives of Roosevelt, Taft, and the role of the muckraking media on their careers.

    Not a full blown biography of either man, but one that tracks their rise to power initially in a parallel fashion which merges during the Presidency of Roosevelt, and then flies apart during the Presidency of Taft. The two men; Roosevelt, the scion of a rich New York family, born a sickly child who by the sheer will of his personality transformed himself into the "rough rider" we are all familiar with, and Taft, whose father was a successful businessman and public servant, who seemed less driven than Roosevelt, but who possessed a highly developed sense of what was right and wrong, and whose intelligence propelled his successful career, formed an unlikely though deep friendship that turned into deep enmity during the Presidential campaign of 1912.

    Both men were part of the progressive wing of the Republican party, willing to impose regulations on businesses that used their influence in a way detrimental to the public good (trust busting), and who took up the cause of the working man proposing limits on the length of the work week, a raise in the minimum wage, and safety and health standards. Their eventual falling out came about as a result of the largely mistaken view on Roosevelt's part that President Taft was not carrying on this progressive legacy. During their careers both were the beneficiaries and targets of a new style of journalism - one that used investigative reporting to advocate for reforms in business and government to root out endemic corruption. This came to be known as muckraking.

    Goodwin traces the rise of muckraking journalism - not a negative term at the time - as it rose during the careers of Roosevelt and Taft. Some of America's greatest journalists came out of this progressive tradition including most notably, Ida Tarbell. Focused largely on the journalists working at McClure's Magazine, one of the first and most successful of the muckraking publications Goodwin details the many ways in which both Roosevelt and Taft relied on the work these journalists were doing to provide the factual basis for the progressive policies they were pushing.This alliance produced some of the most progressive and far sweeping reforms of the twentieth century. And it also propelled Roosevelt into the top rank of U.S. Presidents. However, it also set an impossibly high standard for Taft to reach while he was President. So despite the fact he had some notable successes during his administration, by comparison, he looked like a failure in the eyes of Roosevelt and the Muckrakers, who turned on him with a vengeance in 1912.

    I really enjoyed this book quite a bit. While many books have been written about Roosevelt and a fair number on Taft, there are few that have looked at them in tandem and that also included looked at the important role played by the media on their careers. It's an important aspect of the Progressive era that is usually overlooked.

    Three things really struck me as I read this book. First, it really hits home how far the modern Republican Party has strayed from its roots. There have been, arguably, three Republican Presidents that are nearly universally acknowledged to be great - Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower - none of whom would be welcome in today's hyper-conservative party. Second, while Roosevelt deserves the acclaim he has received, he could also be petulant, hyper-sensitive to any perceived slight, and disloyal to formerly close friends, as evidenced by the way he turned on William Howard Taft. And last, I have a renewed respect for Taft who is caricatured in history as the bumbling fat man that squandered Roosevelt's accomplishments. Nothing could be further from the truth. He was highly accomplished prior to his time in the White House, was a more successful President than is usually acknowledged, and had a very distinguished career as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    Highly Recommended!
  • (4/5)
    Goodwin presents a compelling thesis about the presidency and press and stresses how Theodore Roosevelt was able to use the press to his advantage during his remarkable presidency, but that his successor William Howard Taft failed to utilize journalists in the same manner and ultimately damaged his administration through poor PR. This is a long book and Goodwin often times gets caught up in the details, chronicling the lives of Roosevelt, Taft, and the preeminent journalists of the age (Sam McClure, Ida Tarbell, etc.). A good read, but I do wish the author had edited the text better and cut down a bit on the length.
  • (4/5)
    Goodwin does a masterful job weaving together the lives of TR, Taft and the rise of progressive journalism. It is a long book but always readable.
  • (2/5)
    In my personal rating schema, "2" means held my attention to the end; "3" means worth my time. This book definitely held my attention until the end, so as an audiobook was worth my time (in my daily commute, anything that holds my attention is worth my time, since there is no real opportunity cost there). However, if I had read this book with my eyeballs, it would not have been worthwhile, when I have so many other, hopefully more enlightening, books waiting to be read. This was like history junk food -- empty calories -- because at the end I hadn't really learned anything. Particularly frustrating was that the book did not adequately explain the reasons for Roosevelt's break with Taft -- can there be no existing correspondence from Roosevelt explaining his thinking? And wny didn't Roosevelt keep up a correspondence with Taft after he left office? This is the key turning point in the story the author is attempting to tell and it is brushed aside; whereas, on the other hand, an interminable amount of time is spent on the blow-by-blow of a dispute between Taft's Interior Secretary and Head of Forestry, which could have been summarized in a few sentences. In summary, since the author chose to tell the story with a "just the facts" approach, devoid of any analysis whatsoever, this story would have been better served by a more judicious selection of facts.
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful read and very applicable to our own times. The period Goodwin writes about -the late 19th and early 20th century- was more wedded to the ideas of laissez faire economics than our own. How these two Republicans remade the country is astonishing, especially given their know nothing descendants. The role played by McClure and his writers is also well done.I think the author's point is if it was possible to introduce all of this progressive legislation then it is possible now. We just haven't discovered how to do it yet.
  • (5/5)
    Essentially every Teddie Roosevelt biography suffers from the same, invisible weakness: the author cannot resist the urge to let the character's ego to eclipse the sun, leaving everyone, even his closet allies, to sulk in his shadow. Before "The Bully Pulpit", I've always viewed William Taft as an inconsequential character in Teddie's life, one who's known only for failing to carry the torch of the Progressive movement, Teddie's movement, forcing Roosevelt to forsake him and his own retirement. But it's a lie that distorts the real human relationship that was at work. This book, more than any other history of that time, depicts the humanity and fallibility of Teddie and Taft alike. I'm not a sentimental person, and I've very rarely moved emotionally by biographical works, but the relationship between Taft and Teddie, and the relationships that made up the McClure's editorial team, moved me.
  • (5/5)
    Great story of two great men in a time when journalism was king. Long but a great read.
  • (3/5)
    Fascinating book on the relationship between Roosevelt and Taft. As someone with little prior knowledge of this era, it was a perfect introduction. The book was a great balance between narrative and fact, giving myself little opportunity to lose interest on such a dense topic.
  • (4/5)
    I am almost finished. I was struck by the fact Taft tried to continue many of the programs of Roosevelt but he received very little credit for what he did. Of course, he refused to rule by executive order like Roosevelt. He fired Roosevelt's popular head of the Forestry department Pinchot causing a breach with Roosevelt. This helped cause Roosevelt to contest Taft for his second term which led to the election of Woodrow Wilson. Even though Teddy was adored by the public he could not win the presidency in 1912. He could not even win the Republican nomination. However, this is explained by the author because Teddy took a perhaps too radical approach to his campaign. He argued citizens should be allowed to vote to overrule even judicial rulings in plebiscites like California has. This was too much for the establishment. Even though Teddy won the primaries in 1912 there weren't enough of them so Taft won the Republican Nomination in 1912 by winning most of the conventions. Even Teddy's best political friend Senator Henry Cabot Lodge did not back him in 1912. The newest thing I learned is how Teddy wrested the leadership of the Progressive Party from Robert LaFollette. Even though the progressives initially thought Teddy was too establishment they deserted LaFollette and all flocked to Teddy when he decided to run in 1912. He was doomed in 1912 when he could not wrest the Republican nomination from Taft. It was wonderful that the author included in the epilogue a chance encounter between Taft and Roosevelt in May 1918 in Chicago.They apparently reconciled at this meeting. It reminded me of the reconciliation between Jefferson and John Adams. The author also notes Taft's wife Nellie outlived him by 13 years even though she was sick during their White House years. Finally, the author says Taft liked his position as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court so much he even managed to reduce his weight down to 250 pounds.
  • (4/5)
    Goodwin is superb as an historian and in this book we see Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft as individuals but also we see how working shoulder to shoulder, they created a greater good often at the cost of their own ambitions.TR's personality comes through as adventurer and master politician. Taft comes through as a loving, generous, gentle giant who twice refused appointment to the Supreme Court (his greatest desire) because he believed his efforts elsewhere were needed. In this book we also see the development of the power of the press and how a good politician could utilize that power. This book was extremely informative, however it could have been just as informative without being so wordy. Several passages were repetitive and could easily been omitted.
  • (4/5)
    Good reading on a period that I have a particular interest in learning. I thought that Taft came out as a pretty sympathetic figure in the author's hands. The lengths that a pol will go to 'get' their rival are impressive. Giving the presidency to Wilson was what both knew that they were doing and they just kept at it, largely out of ego and pride. The attention given to the McClure's writers was good stuff and really added to the picture of the world. I did not care for the note system used by the author - if you like following up ideas from standard foot- or end- notes, you will be annoyed at the method used.
  • (5/5)
    As a story of two politicians who went from a laissez faire approach to conservative progressivism, this book excels at walking the reader through the emergence of progressive thought. Goodwin gets into the details of TR and Taft's administration without getting bogged down in boring detail by framing the discussion around the question most on the presidents' minds: How do we ensure a square deal for those left behind in the wake of the Industrial Revolution? Taft is a surprisingly sympathetic character who actually makes TR both more impressive and also more flawed than other portraits. The focus on the journalists not only helps explain the politicians' successes and failures, it also provides a lens through which to better understand the issues of the day.Like Goodwin's Team of Rivals, the deep profiles of the leading characters around the central figure (here, of course, it has to be Roosevelt despite the book's shared billing with Taft), gives a way of understanding TR that in most ways far surpasses other biographies, including Morris's. Millard's River of Doubt may surpass Bully Puplit in terms of its powerful storytelling, but not by much--which says a lot considering Goodwin's substantial page count.
  • (5/5)
    Who was the youngest US President? No, not JFK - rather it was Teddy Roosevelt who became President at 42 succeeding the assasinated McKinley in 1901. Roosevelt is elected in 1904 and vows on election eve not to run in 1908. Rather, William Howard Taft, another Republican, and TR's secretary of war, is elected (though he'd much rather be a Supreme Court Justice). Who will run/win in 1912? Well, there's a quick plot summary for those of you, who like myself, were not up to date on turn of the century presidential history. This is yet another terrific book from Goodwin. Loaded with so many interesting issues du jour, trust-busting, popular election of senators, income tax, vote for women, rights for workers, regulation. The story begins with a very enjoyable description of TR's June, 1910 return from his year long African safari/hunt (check youtube for video clips of his welcoming parade). Thereafter, Goodwin tells her story in straight chronological fashion and she weaves a third element into the Roosevelt-Taft story, namely the muckrakers, personified by the stellar cast of writers from McClure's magazine. So many interesting anecdotes and tales. When a Supreme Court decision is announced, all the reporters rush to.....not the telephone (not available yet) but rather the telegraph station. When these hard working officials would take a break, they would go away not for a week or two but for months, even as President ! TR is shot two weeks before the 1912 election. Taft's wife has a stroke shortly after he takes office. Prsidents were inaugurated in early March in those days. I was particularly intrigued by the very different personalities of Taft and TR and how each was received. It's long, 750 pages of text (the Amazon summary above says over 900, and the difference is largely footnote references. Consider buying the hardback, it's a gem filled with many interesting photos that you don't usually get in a Kindle edition.