The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

Rating Now: 9/10
Max Rating: 9/10


There are few presidents that stand out like Theodore Roosevelt. If Mount Rushmore is to be believed, he is among the top four the United States has ever seen (along the likes of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson). To anyone who values the outdoors and the conservationist ethic of the current United States, Theodore Roosevelt was arguably the greatest force to make this so.

The story of Theodore Roosevelt was not the “rags to riches” trope. He was born into wealth, but what he did with that wealth (and privilege) was admirable.

As a child, TR was incredibly sick. He struggled with chronic illness his entire youth. He was bed-ridden for days at a time. It was the horrors of chronic illness that helped shape him into such a courageous, strong, and positive individual throughout his life.

He was gifted at an early age and nearly everyone could see that. Even to this day, his scholarly writing on the naval war of 1812 is considered great work; a piece he published in his late teens / early twenties. Despite three consecutive political failures in the late 1880’s, he never relented and eventually became president.

NOTE: This book is very dense. I do not recommend it unless you have a desire to learn Theodore Roosevelt’s life in great detail.

Key Takeaways:

  • TR struggled with insecurities as they pertained to women. His first wife, Alice, was adored by TR. He was so insecure about his engagement, he wanted to move the wedding earlier to ensure Alice wouldn’t leave for someone else. Contemplating the thought of her leaving for another men, he ordered a pair of dueling pistols from France. I’ve struggled with my own insecurities around women so this was a pleasant surprise for such a monumental man.


N/A – Pleasure reading

* The time of life I read a book impacts the score. My Rating Now is how valuable the book was currently. However, at a different part of my life it might receive my Max Rating. Sometimes they are one and the same.

(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)