Theodore Roosevelt practically invented the modern presidency--the press office, the bully pulpit from which the president spoke directly about moral issues and managed public opinion, federal intelligence gathering, effective trust-busting and the regulation of business, and America's active diplomatic intervention in world affairs. But he started out as a sickly, asthmatic boy dressed in effeminate velvet sheltered inside his parents' aristocratic world of old New York knickerbocker wealth and privilege. How could he rise up from a sickly and protected childhood with maids and relatives overing around him as he struggled to breathe?
Kathleen Dalton tells the story of TR's rise to greatness in three parts: first, his struggle to overcome illness and find a place--or several careers-- for himself, second, his rise to political power and his presidency, and third, his post-presidential career as an advocate of a strong federal government that provided protection for all its citizens from unemployment and ill health and old age poverty. This biography is also the story of a romance and marriage that made TR a more effective political and literary operator. His wife Edith Carow Roosevelt was more than a partner--she edited, silenced, and advised this impulsive and effusive character. He adored her even while he struggled under her guiding hand.
This report prepared by Barbara Rotundo