The Horn Book

Theodore Roosevelt
Larger Than Life

by Matt Donnelly

“When living at his summer White House, Roosevelt would often take his children on a four- or five-mile hike, walking straight through ‘the fields and over the fences, across ditches and pools, and even. . . up and down a haystack, if one happened to be in the way.’ Portrayals of this kind of direct, focused energy often overshadow Roosevelt the political animal, the dedicated scholar, and the principled reformer that Donnelly ably presents. Sure, he includes familiar stories of Roosevelt building up his frail body, roughhousing with his children, and charging into the Spanish-American War, but he tempers these accounts with a look at the politician who shrewdly chose a career of public service and nurtured that career through well-thought-out alliances and appointments. The book’s introduction sets the historical stage, giving a political, economic, and social overview of American life in the nineteenth century. Donnelly carefully builds on that history, connecting national and internationsl movements to Roosevelt’s career and personal life without appearing to divert readers from the story at hand. And what a story it is, filled with great successes, great failures, and great contradictions. It’s also a complex story, and Donnelly doesn’t avoid that complexity but instead presents Roosevelt as a flawed hero. Endnotes, including both citations and explanatory notes, as well as a bibliography and suggestions for further reading, back up the scholarship and encourage further research. Black-and-white photographs show Roosevelt at various stages of his life. Index not seen.”
— The Horn Book Magazine
(March/April 2003)

Theodore Roosevelt: Larger Than Life
by Matt Donnelly
Publication: February 2003
xvi, 184 p., chron., illus., bibliog., index
Cloth, ISBN 0-208-02510-3 $27.50