Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Excerpt

This fugitive study of a memorable life may at several points help to make clearer issues which are momentous still. If it is written with no desire to give offense, but no obsequious fear of doing so, it may contribute to frank and sympathetic discussion between two great peoples. Above all, it may arouse more interest in a powerful and a noble man, whose fate it was for a considerable while to rivet and indeed fatigue the attention of civilized mankind, then to undergo eclipse, and to die when the eclipse was total; and it may do this last while the recognition of greatness in the modern world continues to be peculiarly needed. It can claim to do no more. Candidly my reason for writing it is, that, having been invited to do so, I am disabled from refusing by a boyish hero-worship which I conceived very long ago for Theodore Roosevelt — then and ever since unknown to me.

When a statesman has been only four years dead, the disadvantages of a biographer who belongs to another country are almost unmixed, though, after a longer time, he would on the whole be in a position of advantage. Besides this, the existing books on the subject of this biographical essay are not a few; they cover their ground very adequately; and several of them are extraordinarily good books. But in England, at any rate, they have been almost unnoticed in comparison with any comparable memoirs. It is strange to me that I seldom hear mention of a political biography such as Mr. Bishop Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt, told, as it is, chiefly by an admirably restrained selection from the letters of a first-rate letter-writer, and ranging, as it does in the charming correspondence between Roosevelt and Sir George Trevelyan, so far beyond the regions of mere politics. Nor can I here help adding the titles of Mr. Thayer brief and wise Theodore Roosevelt, an Intimate Biography, of Mr. Hermann Hagedorn poetic but truthful study of a vanished frontier life in his Roosevelt in the Bad Lands, and of Roosevelt own Autobiography. I shall be well content to write even a very slight book if it serves to advertise its predecessors.

Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York, on October 27, 1858. Of his ancestors, concerning whom he himself recounted shortly and humorously the little that was worth saying, we need note only that they represented many nations, and chiefly the . . .

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