Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography - Winner, Biography, 1932

Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography
By: Henry F. Pringle
Harcourt Brace, 1931

I have to start out by saying that I have always been interested in the life of Theodore Roosevelt and was thrilled to learn that I would be reading not one but two biographies of our 26th president (winners in 1932 & 1980). Theodore Roosevelt was president during the early years of my favorite time in United States history - post-Civil War through World War II. I couldn't wait to start learning more about this raucous character.

On reading Pringle's biography of Roosevelt, I found myself a bit disappointed. True, this is a detailed biography of Roosevelt's life, but it is almost purely a political biography. My mom recently read Morris's The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (winner, 1980) and told me brief stories of his love life an more. These episodes barely earned mention in Pringle's book. Instead, he turned his focus on every political move made by Roosevelt in his life (and there were PLENTY).

Pringle clearly respects Roosevelt, but you definitely do not come away with any warm feelings for the man. I might have had unreasonable expectations to start with, so I am glad to have the opportunity to read another perspective later and will hopefully learn about other sides of this multi-faceted man.


RC said...

i have a feeling that reading the 1932 biography will only help you enjoy the 1980 biography more.

i'm reading a pulitzer prize winner in fiction now i now you'll love. So many great reads for you!

Rebecca Reid said...

I don't know anything about Roosevelt. Other than he's where we got the term "teddy bear". Unless that's a myth.

I want to learn about each president. I look forward to your thoughts on the 1980 winner; maybe that will be more intriguing than this one was. There's a place for political biography, but probably not this kind for me!