"Mornings on Horseback" by David McCullough

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I hereby join the chorus in praise of David McCullough. He's great. The NY "Times" calls him "our best social historian," and I'll certainly go along with that.

In this book we get a closeup of "Teedy," as he was called by his family. In spite of a sickly, challenging childhood, TR grew up utterly indefatigable. His public life never swerved from the dictates of his conscience, and he changed America by running independently in 1912 (in the election that gave us Woodrow Wilson). The book points obliquely to a yearning to measure up to his over-achieving father, but Teddy's eventual accomplishment cannot be overstated.

I finished this book (which devotes only a handful of pages at the end to TR's Presidency, BTW) with a much fuller appreciation of that fellow whose rightful place is in Mt. Rushmore.
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