Brinkley, Douglas: The Wilderness Warrior – Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America (2010)

Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Harvard College Library; Theodore Roosevelt in Arizona in 1913.

Once you remove the protective cover of the book, you’ll see that the whole thing is made to look old. The pages are layered, the font is old-fashioned and the pictures are (of course) black and white. Some biographies collect all of their photographs/pictures on a few pages, but I prefer the way Brinkley and his publishers have done it. This way they fit with the text and illustrate the author’s point. “The Wilderness Warrior” is more than an interesting looking book, it is also the story of Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt’s great interest in the preservation of nature.

Teddy “teddy-bear” Roosevelt (1858-1919) was the 26th president of the United States. Being 42 years old at the time of his swearing in, made him the youngest president ever. Nature played an important role to him from early on. As a sickly child, Teddy was home-schooled. To combat his asthma, Teddy chose physical activities as a way to combat the disease. His hyperactiveness probably played a large part in that choice. Later on he became an active hunter. He loved hunting and as a hunter he saw the need for preservation of hunting grounds. Through the power of the various offices he held, Teddy was able to promote this interest in nature and as president establish National parks.

Brinkley writes about Roosevelt in an engaging and interesting manner. He brings the man alive through pictures and personal anecdotes about Teddy. This is definitely a must-read for anyone interested in US History.

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