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Edmund Morris

   

Colonel Roosevelt

Morris completes his fully detailed, correlatively dynamic triptych of the restless, energetic, on-the-move first President Roosevelt, following The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (1979), the title self-explanatory in terms of its coverage of TRís life, and Theodore Rex (2001), about his presidency. Now the author presents Colonel Roosevelt, the title by which Roosevelt chose to be called during his post-presidential years (in reference, of course, to his military position during the Spanish-American War). This is the sad part of TRís life; this is the stage of his life story in which it is most difficult to accept his self-absorption, self-importance, and self-righteousness, but it is the talent of the author, who has shown an immaculate understanding of his subject, to make Roosevelt of continued fascination to his readers. In essence, this volume tells the story of TRís path of disenchantment with his chosen successor in the White House, William Taft, and his attempt to re-secure the presidency for himself. The important theme of TRís concomitant decline in health is also a part of the narrative. We are made aware most of all that of all retired presidents, TR was the least likely to fade into the background.