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In this groundbreaking epic biography, Douglas Brinkley draws on never-before-published materials to examine the life and achievements of our "naturalist president." By setting aside more than 230 million acres of wild America for posterity between 1901 and 1909, Theodore Roosevelt made conservation a universal endeavor. This crusade for the American wilderness was perhaps the greatest U.S. presidential initiative between the Civil War and World War I. Roosevelt's most important legacies led to the creation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and passage of the Antiquities Act in 1906. His executive orders saved such treasures as Devils Tower, the Grand Canyon, and the Petrified Forest.

Tracing the role that nature played in Roosevelt's storied career, Brinkley brilliantly analyzes the influence that the works of John James Audubon and Charles Darwin had on the young man who would become our twenty-sixth president. With descriptive flair, the author illuminates Roosevelt's bird watching in the Adirondacks, wildlife obsession in Yellowstone, hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains, ranching in the Dakota Territory, hunting in the Big Horn Mountains, and outdoor romps through Idaho and Wyoming. He also profiles Roosevelt's incredible circle of naturalist friends, including the Catskills poet John Burroughs, Boone and Crockett Club cofounder George Bird Grinnell, forestry zealot Gifford Pinchot, buffalo breeder William Hornaday, Sierra Club founder John Muir, U.S. Biological Survey wizard C. Hart Merriam, Oregon Audubon Society founder William L. Finley, and pelican protector Paul Kroegel, among many others. He brings to life hilarious anecdotes of wild-pig hunting in Texas and badger saving in Kansas, wolf catching in Oklahoma and grouse flushing in Iowa. Even the story of the teddy bear gets its definitive treatment.

Destined to become a classic, this extraordinary and timeless biography offers a penetrating and colorful look at Roosevelt's naturalist achievements, a legacy now more important than ever. Raising a Paul Revere–like alarm about American wildlife in peril—including buffalo, manatees, antelope, egrets, and elk—Roosevelt saved entire species from probable extinction. As we face the problems of global warming, overpopulation, and sustainable land management, this imposing leader's stout resolution to protect our environment is an inspiration and a contemporary call to arms for us all.

Topics: Presidents

Published: HarperCollins on Jul 28, 2009
ISBN: 9780061940576
List price: $9.99
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I wonder about the people who gave this a good rating. Brinkley cannot write in any way that resembles interesting, he plays with facts to the point that you cannot trust much of anything he writes, and he is completely unable to draw any substantive conclusions from his ramblings. I would never go to hear him speak, but I've also heard that he will put you to sleep when at the lectern. A one star is generous.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An intense,encompassing and extremely enlightening book on Theodore Roosevelt a man of multiple talents and accomplishments.Weighing in at over 900 pages this dense volume keeps the reader intrigued through Roosevelt's boyhood fascination with ornithology and the Roosevelt Museum; his Harvard years and his relationship with his uncle Robert B. Roosevelt; his marriages and children's lives; his 'strenuous life' philosophy and western travels and explorations; his entry into politics and it's formation of his policies of conservationism and land management and sustainability. Through cabinet posts, Governorship of New York state and ultimately the White House. Theodore (don't call him Teddy!...) proved years ahead of his time in developing the system of National Parks, Forests, Monuments, Bird Reserves that has American citizenry forever in his debt. Saving almost 225 million acres of wilderness and natural treasures to be enjoyed by generations of people into eternity. A deft politician, he brought into federal service many types of experts on birds, fish, forestry, land use and conservation and other sciences of nature, giving them power to enact governmental policies and help guide America to a place at the forefront of the world's nations in wilderness preservation and governmental ecological planning for the future. One drawback of the book is it's sheer size. The material described is densely packed on the page and demands to be savored and not skimmed lightly through. This require an amount of commitment as a reader and believe me it's worth it. You'll come away with a new found sense of respect and admiration for our twenty -sixth president, a true wilderness warrior.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Although this book was massive, it is a great read for anyone who likes Theodore Roosevelt. Most books look at his entire life and actions, while this one focuses specifically on his conservationist and naturalist efforts. It was amazing to see how much T.R. influenced the current national park and wildlife systems and how modern his views on conservation were.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

I wonder about the people who gave this a good rating. Brinkley cannot write in any way that resembles interesting, he plays with facts to the point that you cannot trust much of anything he writes, and he is completely unable to draw any substantive conclusions from his ramblings. I would never go to hear him speak, but I've also heard that he will put you to sleep when at the lectern. A one star is generous.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An intense,encompassing and extremely enlightening book on Theodore Roosevelt a man of multiple talents and accomplishments.Weighing in at over 900 pages this dense volume keeps the reader intrigued through Roosevelt's boyhood fascination with ornithology and the Roosevelt Museum; his Harvard years and his relationship with his uncle Robert B. Roosevelt; his marriages and children's lives; his 'strenuous life' philosophy and western travels and explorations; his entry into politics and it's formation of his policies of conservationism and land management and sustainability. Through cabinet posts, Governorship of New York state and ultimately the White House. Theodore (don't call him Teddy!...) proved years ahead of his time in developing the system of National Parks, Forests, Monuments, Bird Reserves that has American citizenry forever in his debt. Saving almost 225 million acres of wilderness and natural treasures to be enjoyed by generations of people into eternity. A deft politician, he brought into federal service many types of experts on birds, fish, forestry, land use and conservation and other sciences of nature, giving them power to enact governmental policies and help guide America to a place at the forefront of the world's nations in wilderness preservation and governmental ecological planning for the future. One drawback of the book is it's sheer size. The material described is densely packed on the page and demands to be savored and not skimmed lightly through. This require an amount of commitment as a reader and believe me it's worth it. You'll come away with a new found sense of respect and admiration for our twenty -sixth president, a true wilderness warrior.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Although this book was massive, it is a great read for anyone who likes Theodore Roosevelt. Most books look at his entire life and actions, while this one focuses specifically on his conservationist and naturalist efforts. It was amazing to see how much T.R. influenced the current national park and wildlife systems and how modern his views on conservation were.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This a huge book focusing on T.R.'s accomplishments in the area of conservation. It took a chunk of time to read it, but I loved every minute of it. I knew he was active in setting up wildlife refuges and national parks, but did not know he was such an avid birder. I drove my family nuts with quotes and sharing what I learned.
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A highly detailed compilation of facts and observations about President Theodore Roosevelt's views and activities as a naturalist, beginning at boyhood and ending abruptly pretty much with the end of his presidency in 1909. With 817 pages of text, The Wilderness Warrior is a long, slow read; perhaps more useful as reference material than a popular history.What I liked most about this book: the passages relating to some of the organizations and individuals who made great contributions to the conservation movement, but who are less well known than Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, John Muir, and the Sierra Club; for example, the Boone and Crockett Club, the American Bison Society, the Audubon Society, the Bronx Zoo, the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Zoological Society, Presidents Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison, US Congressman John F. Lacey, Robert B. Roosevelt, John Burroughs, Guy Bradley, William L. Findley, C. Hart Merriam, and George Bird Grinnell.This massive tome could use a good edit, due to its numerous redundant passages and fairly sizeable number of grammatical and typographical errors. Polar bears, for example, most assuredly do not come to the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska, much less "in huge numbers" (p. 806).
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