Review by Booklist Review
Totaling more than 100,000 letters, the voluminous correspondence of Theodore Roosevelt necessarily presents a challenge to both historians and editors. Culling a digestible 1,000 communications from Roosevelt's prodigious correspondence, Brands, the author of TR: The Last Romantic, supplies a suitably diverse selection that manages to convey and communicate the essential energy and intelligence of both the private man and the public figure. Arranged in chronological order from his youth to his dotage, these missives--addressed to an astonishing array of family, friends, and prominent literary, political, and cultural personae--offer an intimate glimpse into the thoughts and feelings of one of the most talented and multidimensional of all the U.S. presidents. Rich in character, context, and content, this superb collection of letters will appeal to both dedicated scholars and casual admirers of Theodore Roosevelt. --Margaret Flanagan
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
T.R. aficionados already have many carefully indexed and annotated sources to turn to. Elting Morison and John M. Blum edited the eight-volume edition of T.R.'s letters, published between 1951 and '54. The best of his family correspondence can be found in Letters from Theodore Roosevelt to Anna Roosevelt Cowles, 1870-1918 (1924), Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children (1919, revised and retitled A Bully Father for its 1995 reprint), and Letters to Kermit from Theodore Roosevelt, 1902-1908 (1946). Meanwhile, T.R.'s most important political correspondence is highlighted in Selections from the Correspondence of Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge, 1884-1918 (1925). Thus Texas A&M history professor and Roosevelt biographer Brands (T.R.: The Last Romantic), unable to add anything new in the way of previously unpublished letters, relies for value on selecting those that "illuminate Roosevelt the man, the public figure, the polymath." T.R.'s missives to the likes of Nicholas Murray Butler and New York congressmanWilliam Chanler do indeed make interesting reading, and this collection of 1 ,000 letters may serve to introduce new readers to the 26th president. The book suffers greatly, however, from a lack of explanatory notes. Brief one- and two-page essays introduce the book's six sections. Brands provides only occasional one-line bios for some (not all) of T.R.'s correspondents; likewise, readers have frighteningly few annotations to give context to references within letters. Who exactly was Finley Peter Dunne, and why did T.R. write him, in 1899, in part to anxiously beg to make his acquaintance? Brands's book is full of such riddles. Brands also fails to provide precise citations as to where the original manuscripts for these letters (scattered in libraries around the world) might be found. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Teddy Roosevelt remains one of the most interesting and controversial of American presidents, and publication of his selected letters in a single volume should stimulate further interest and debate about the man and his work. Editor Brands (history, Texas A & M), the author of T.R.: The Last Romantic as well as many other books on 20th-century American history, has selected approximately one of every 100 letters produced by the prolific letter-writing president. Brands organizes the letters chronologically into six chapters, with brief introductions to each and minimal annotation. The main criterion for inclusion was "to illuminate Roosevelt not necessarily the events or persons of which he wrote" a goal that Brands admirably achieves. The TR who emerges from these pages appears in all his inquisitiveness, intelligence, energy, and eclectic interests, as well as his stubbornness and biases. Recommended for all libraries. Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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