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Theodore Roosevelt
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About the Author

Kathleen Dalton is Cecil F.P. Bancroft Instructor of History and Social Science at Phillips Academy, Andover and a Consulting Historian for the National Park Service. She was formerly a Fellow at Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University and a Gilder-Lehman research fellow in New York. Educated at Mills College and Johns Hopkins University, she has been studying Theodore Roosevelt since 1975. She is the author of several articles on Theodore Roosevelt and his times. She lives in Andover, Massachusetts, with her husband, the historian E. Anthony Rotundo, and their two children.

Reviews

Dalton's fascinating biography traces Teddy Roosevelt's personal and political development from his birth as a sickly asthmatic child of the privileged and wealthy class through his presidency and death. It paints Roosevelt as a Renaissance man whose interests included natural science, hunting, political reform, women's suffrage, conservation, and art. Dalton also describes the tragic loss of Roosevelt's first wife, Alice; his loving relationship with his second wife and confidante, Edith; and his playfulness with and enjoyment of his six children. Suzanne Toren's expressive narration makes Roosevelt come alive; through her tone the listener gets a sense of the President's emotion and passion when he spoke from the "bully pulpit." Because of its length, this tape is recommended for academic and public libraries that focus on biography or American history.-Ilka Gordon, Medical Lib., Fairview General Hosp., Cleveland Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Dalton, a history instructor at Phillips Academy, Andover, seems determined to cut TR down to size and drain his life of color in this dry, questionably reasoned biography. She complains that other books about Roosevelt "are often rich with dramatic adventure and colorful scenes, just as the Bull Moose would have wanted." With this in mind, she sets herself apart from established TR biographers, who she believes have been duped into perpetuating the autobiographical canards of their self-mythologizing subject. Thus Dalton devotes vast chunks of prose to debunking many of the most popular Theodore Roosevelt images common from books by such writers as Edmund Morris and David McCullough. Unfortunately, the shaky foundation Dalton offers instead seems incapable of carrying so full a load as the life of Theodore Roosevelt. In the final analysis, Dalton offers an unsatisfying, one-dimensional definition of TR's complex psychology. She sees him as little more than an overgrown and preposterous boy: a boy who always gets into trouble, a boy who never asks for or follows advice, a boy who needs constant supervision. By the end of the book, it seems a wonder that Dalton's self-centered and fractious TR ever achieved the White House, wrote books that became classics, won the Nobel Peace Prize, set aside millions of acres for conservation, or loomed large on any stage other than that of his own imagination. 32 pages of photos not seen by PW. (Oct. 15) Forecast: Readers who made Edmund Morris's two-volume bio a bestseller may be sated with TR; they may further question Dalton's positioning herself as the only one to find "the real TR." Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"Thoughtful. . . . Perceptive and entertaining. . . . A fresh look at TR." --The Boston Globe

"Offers an exquisite portrait of TR in a biography that towers over competing accounts for its shrewd insight into a complex American statesman." --Flint Journal

"A fresh look at TR. . . . More than any other president, he embodied the virtues of energy, vitality and self-improvement." --The Washington Post

"Provid[es] insights both original and important. . . . May be the best of a large number of very good biographies." --Richmond Times -Dispatch

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