Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Heir To The Empire City: New York And The Making Of Theodore Roosevelt

Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden offers a good review in the Washington Times of Edward P. Kohn's Heir To The Empire City: New York and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt.

Theodore Roosevelt has come down in history as the “cowboy president,” a man whose persona was shaped by the period he spent in the Dakota badlands as a young man, riding, hunting, even owning two sizable ranches. As he was fond of saying, were it not for the time he spent “out West,” he likely never would have been elected to the White House

This claim — created in large part by Roosevelt himself — draws a healthy snort of disagreement from historian Edward Kohn, an American who teaches in a Turkish university and who has spent much of his academic life studying Roosevelt. The truth is, Mr. Kohn writes, Roosevelt is far more a product of New York City than the West, “as comfortable in a silk top hat and tails in his box at the opera as he was sitting atop a horse on his ranch.” His grandfather was one of the wealthiest men in the city, and his father was a leading philanthropist. The family home was a stately brownstone near Gramercy Park.

Yet Mr. Kohn takes care not to diminish the sincerity of Roosevelt as a man who took an interest in the welfare of the poor and disadvantaged — causes he pursued in various New York City offices and then as governor of New York state.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:


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