As a militarist and politician, Theodore Roosevelt accomplished a remarkable list of achievements including forming the Rough Riders, trust-busting companies like Standard Oil, expanding the United States’ network of national parks, and negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War, for which he was awarded the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize.
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By the time he was twenty-five the future president of the United States was already a published author. From The Naval War of 1812 through his four-volume Winning of the West, Teddy Roosevelt proved himself a master historian...but one must not make the mistake of labeling him a stodgy academic.
The future president was also a great outdoorsman, with such works as Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail and African Game Trails capturing his rough and ready lifestyle. Theodore Roosevelt was part Francis Parkman, part Lowell Thomas, and one hundred percent spirit of America and master of the printed page.
The Man in the Arena collects self-contained excerpts from some of his greatest works, including such revealing memoirs as The Rough Riders, the Autobiography, and Through the Brazilian Wilderness, in an effort to capture the many aspects of a great American who was indeed larger than life and his own best "Boswell."
"This collection of his writings gives credence to Henry Adams's assertion that Roosevelt was "pure Act": there was, it seems, no subject (or foe) he was afraid to tackle. " - Publishers Weekly
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Theodore Roosevelt began this 1899 speech with his thesis: “I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.” He discusses how the many hardships of his life shaped him for the better. Roosevelt believed that if Americans wished to succeed in the world, they would need to embrace the virtue of hard work. He applied this same belief to foreign affairs, stating that America must establish itself as a powerful military force and exert this power when necessary.
In this speech, a young Theodore Roosevelt describes what he believes are the key principles to good citizenship. In addition to emphasizing ethical behavior, Roosevelt takes a firm stance on the necessity of engaging in politics and voting. He states unflinchingly, “The people who say that they have not time to attend to politics are simply saying that they are unfit to live in a free community.” To be “a good American citizen,” Roosevelt says one must boldly engage with the issues our nation faces today, and in doing so, shape its future.
Many consider Theodore Roosevelt to be America’s most conservation-minded president. Throughout his presidency, he worked to preserve endangered animals and their habitats. In this 1907 speech to Congress, he states, “The conservation of our natural resources and their proper use constitute the fundamental problem which underlies almost every other problem of our national life.” Read this speech to experience Roosevelt’s conservationist fervor firsthand.