Aug 05, 2020
T.R.: The Last Romantic
Posted by H.W. Brands

In his time, there was no popular national figure than Theodore Roosevelt It was not just the energy he brought to every political office he held or his unshakable moral convictions that made him so popular, or even his status as a bonafide war hero the man who led the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill in Cuba during the Spanish American war Most important, Theodore RoIn his time, there was no popular national figure than Theodore Roosevelt It was not just the energy he brought to every political office he held or his unshakable moral convictions that made him so popular, or even his status as a bonafide war hero the man who led the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill in Cuba during the Spanish American war Most important, Theodore Roosevelt was loved by the people because this scion of a privileged New York family loved America and Americans.And yet, according to Bill Brands, if we look at the private Roosevelt without blinders, we see a man whose great public strengths hid enormous personal deficiencies His highly exaggerated, and often uncompromising ways drove many of his business and personal friends crazy His historical writings, which Brands quotes from extensively, are nothing if not a portrait of a boy s endless macho fantasies He was often so full of himself that his speeches and writings were the frequent subject of fierce satire in their time.Even revealing, according to Brands, was Roosevelt as son, brother, husband, and father According to Brands, to understand both the public and private Roosevelt one must understand the impact of his father s death while he was still a child, denying him the opportunity to come to terms with his own manhood When his first wife Alice died of complications from childbirth, leaving behind a baby daughter Alice, his response was to run away to shoot Buffalo in the west, leaving the newborn infant to the care of his unmarried sister Bamie When his second wife Edith was seriously, perhaps fatally ill, he left her to fight in the Spanish American war His only concern when his brother Elliot, who had been his only friend as a child, became an alcoholic was to hide the news from the public Determined that his four sons would not dishonor his belief that men, to achieve their manhood, must test themselves in war, he arranged for each to serve, often in the frontlines, during WWI His youngest son Quentin would die in that cause.Beautifully written, powerfully moved by its subject, TR is nonetheless a biography appropriate to today s critical times.

  • Title: T.R.: The Last Romantic
  • Author: H.W. Brands
  • ISBN: 9780465069583
  • Page: 299
  • Format: Hardcover
  • T R The Last Romantic In his time there was no popular national figure than Theodore Roosevelt It was not just the energy he brought to every political office he held or his unshakable moral convictions that made him so p

    Jacob

    December 2009I think I may be a glutton for punishment bookwise, that is, and at least where nonfiction is concerned I seem to be developing a habit of picking up interesting looking books that later turn out to be bad, unreadable, or merely uninteresting It happened with Churchill, Hitler, and The Unnecessary War How Britain Lost its Empire and the West Lost the World by Patrick Buchanan despite the obvious subtitle, despite the author that Pat Buchanan , despite the warning bells that went off [...]


    Steve

    bestpresidentialbios 2015 T.R The Last Romantic is H.W Brands s 1997 biography of Theodore Roosevelt Brands is a professor at the University of Texas, a prolific author and a two time Pulitzer finalist He has written nearly thirty books on a wide range of historical topics including biographies of Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S Grant, Aaron Burr and FDR His most recent biography Reagan A Life will be released in May.Brands s biography is lengthy with just over 800 pages but also comprehensive, well r [...]


    Bill Simpson

    Great book H.W Brands really has a way of putting together a biography without it bogging one down in facts I gained an increased understanding about Theodore Roosevelt I hadn t remembered after all the history classes I sat through in school This was NOT a book that sang nothing but praises and left out the bad stuff I felt that Mr Brands was extremely honest and objective in his writing, allowing the reader to see the faults as well as the successes of this president The next book from Mr Bran [...]


    Chris

    Wow, it s pretty clear that Brands hates Roosevelt anything good that Roosevelt did is clearly an accident, and not because of anything Roosevelt believed in, or any skill that Roosevelt had It definitely reads like a post Watergate revisionist work, where no politician can have any good in him or her, that everything is done because of an ulterior motive, and that all politicians are hugely flawed, and one must emphasize their flaws and dismiss their strengths That s Brands interpretation, but [...]


    Stephen Veliz

    I ve been surprised by a few reviews that I ve read here, stating that Brands paints TR in a negative light To be sure, the author is critical of Roosevelt at time for example, Roosevelt s private criticism of Wilson.However, I believe that Brands weaves a balanced narrative of one of our nation s most extraordinary figures If you re looking for someone that positions Roosevelt on a pedestal, this book is probably not for you If you want an unvarnished story of one of America s most pivotal lead [...]


    Bill Simpson

    This was actually the regular paperback edition of this book, but I couldn t find it from the selection provided.I thought this was a great book H.W Brands gives an extremely fair representation of one of our nations most colorful men and presidents Before reading I knew only vague things about TR, recalled from the deep dark corners of my mind I enjoyed the factual aspects of the book, but also the personal parts that gave me an opportunity to see why TR became the person he became It was very [...]


    Mitch

    This is an enjoyable and informative portrait of a great American President Much of what is right and wrong about the American Presidency and the role of federal government today can be traced to TR He was a proud imperialist and crusader for the middle class, the poor, and the environment Even where I believe him to be wrong, I admire Roosevelt s commitment and his moral and physical courage.


    Sera

    This tome is not for the timid it is a beast, but worth every minute of it The author provides a comprehensive view of TR s life I think that Teddy was awesome, and this book gives him his justice.


    Acacia

    I just really love Teddy and this made me love him .


    Vincent Saint-Simon

    Dear Sirs and Madams,If you are considering a biography not written by Mr Brands, you are in the act of doing yourself a grave disservice.N,V


    Craig Earnshaw

    I love Brands writing style, includes in the broad sweep of this fascinating man s life enough detail to make us feel that we knew him I would love to sit down for a long dinner with Teddy.


    Taras

    Interesting president Got us into Cuba, Panama, Philippines etc The whole team American world police foreign policy seems to originate from TR TR was the president of unintended consequences His Republican view on restricting corporations was great, but pretty sure 3rd term would ve lead to unintended consequences eg thank god we never got referendums Absolutely terrible author 0 effort was put into setting context of various events Eg The Populist Movement causes a lot of TR s reaction, author [...]


    Sue

    Excellent biography of Theodore Roosevelt Brands accurately portrays his subject both his good characteristics and his bad Roosevelt s renowned energy is well portrayed, his tendency toward hating others when they re not doing what he expects is also portrayed I m thinking especially of Taft and Wilson Obviously all of the detail of Roosevelt s life can t be portrayed in this book but there are plenty of excellent books that tell about certain aspects of his life This inclusive biography will gi [...]


    Doug Tabner

    Brands is among my favorite authors, his books on Franklin and Jackson are the definitive biographies of them But when it comes to Teddy Roosevelt, Edmund Morris trilogy is as good as it gets If you want to stick to a single volume then T.R is the book for you But if you re going to get in deep enough to read a 900 page book, I d highly recommend going the extra miles and reading the Morris trilogy.


    Maggi LeDuc

    Brands strikes an excellent balance between relating the extraordinary particulars of TR s life in factual detail and editorializing his thoughts and decisions especially later in life with some unpartisian reality.


    Scott Jones

    Read this when it was first released in the 90s Great book


    Marty Reeder

    I really had no business reading this book I had just started a new semester of grad school hopefully my last , I currently have no prep period at school, and any spare time I have leftover I ve been trying to catch up with my family And yet, I saw this book at my parents and knew that I wanted to read it sometime, so I figured I would borrow it indefinitely until things started to slow down From the moment I had it off the shelf, I guess it was inevitable that I couldn t resist taking a peek An [...]


    Murdock Hendrix

    A few months ago I was channel surfing and landed on a History Channel special about former US Presidents I watched it and became enthralled on the piece on Theodore Roosevelt I was ashamed on how little I knew of him and many of America s former presidents from the last century During the piece, W.H Brands made several commentary type comments on Mr Roosevelt, his life and family, and I decided then to order his book from my local library The Last Romantic by W.H Brands is a wonderfully informa [...]


    Felipe Alfaro

    Before reading this book I did not know much about Teddy I knew that he was a Rough Rider, that he built the Panama Canal, that the teddy bear was his namesake, and that he regulated the meat packing industry after reading The Jungle Now I have a comprehensive understanding on not just what he did, but how his mind worked TR believed that the Republican party should reflect the principles of Lincoln and not sell out to the pecuniary temptations that come from corporate and party bosses Obviously [...]


    Jenifer

    In his time there was no national figure popular than Theodore Roosevelt Book Jacket There were nuggets of interest for me as I skimmed these 800 pages but it was just too meticulous for me On an extended safari Roosevelt killed eight other lions, eight elephants, thirteen rhinoceroses, seven hippopotamuses, twenty zebra, seven giraffes, six buffalo and scores of lesser mammals, as well as dozens of birds, from ostriches two and great buzzards four down to the odd duck and songbird, and three p [...]


    Kendra

    This book takes a close look at T.R s childhood and the events that shaped his life including the loss of his father, 1st wife, and mother through his term as president and during his time as a former president attempting to regain the presidency It gives equal weight to his political life, examining how his personality suited him for politics and the events occurring during his young adulthood that propelled him into politics This is the first book I ve read about T.R but I think it did a good [...]


    Eric Smith

    This is probably the best one volume biography of Teddy Roosevelt and it is a very good book indeed I have read three biographies by H W Brands so far and I put this one slightly behind his Ben Franklin and well ahead of his Andrew Jackson In this book Brands calls TR the last romantic and makes the case that he had the swashbuckling attitudes of an earlier age, that he lived well into the 20th and became a kind of living antique His presidency takes up perhaps one quarter of the book TR lead an [...]


    Jacob

    Although I give this a four star rating, I wouldn t recommend this book to everyone It is a very long book that goes into a lot of detail of Roosevelt s life, which I enjoyed but I don t know if many others would Overall it was a good read I learned a lot about Roosevelt and American history during his lifetime I ve known that Roosevelt was an influential president, but I didn t know about all that he did to really shape America I ve read other reviews stating Brands is very critical of Roosevel [...]


    Greg

    Long, but funny, insightful, and seemingly objective, it was an enjoyable read to someone with no preconceptions.To respond to many here who need to pay a bit attention to their reading comprehension, it hardly stands to reason that the author hates Roosevelt He seems to have found an interesting lens through which to examine TR s actions TR was a human despite all of those who would elevate him above that level The author has enough perspective not to be too intimidated by his subject He gives [...]


    Jennie

    I thought Brands did a fantastic job of illustrating Roosevelt s forceful personality, especially with the anecdotes about TR s time on the ranch, and the excerpts from his letters to Alice, as well as in his dealings with the bosses who helped him get elected to his early public offices Brands both humanizes and lionizes TR in this excellent book and even though I may not have always agreed with TR s choices, I m left with a great deal of admiration and respect for a man who possessed that rare [...]


    Jared

    I wanted to start my TR research with the biggest book I could find theory being it would cover everything This book is a monster at 800 pages There is much about TR that is compelling enough for the casual reader that said I imagine it would be difficult for said average fan to plough through the whole work I loved it I devoured a few hundred pages at a time and then read something else for a week or so and got back to it.


    Virginia Albanese

    This is my 26th presidential biography and is by far the best written and interesting Holds ones attention and not full of minute detail of party politics Gets to the essence of the man truly an eogist with antedotal writings taken from personal letters and books written by T R The author respectfully makes fun of of some of T R s ways and at times surmises what he might have thought of a situation.


    Rosenthal Stephen

    Roosevelt was certainly different than the Republican Party of his time His ideas of government were not the ways of big business The party elite never trusted him This was nothing new but what was of great interest to me was the politics that were going on during his time In many respects, one could close your eyes and see similarities to today.


    Robert Speziale

    H.W Brands portrayal of Theodore Roosevelt shows him to be a man of absolutes Thoroughly and completely patriotic and pro American, his view is completely black and white there are no shades of gray in his thinking Either you are with him and by extension, America or against He was a man bound by honor and duty to his family and his country, and an apostle of American hegemony.


    Chris

    A great read that shows TR in a great light Brands is the type of writer to leave absolutely nothing out The book is completely full but Brands is still able to provide his readers with an opinion of Roosevelt that he comes to after immersing himself in the writings and life of TR Great book, longbut good.



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