Theodore Roosevelt has been one of my favorite historical figures since I have been a very young girl. I think it all started when I saw his funny mustache when I was in second grade. Now I think it is his go for it attitude that keeps me intrigued.
This book as stated by the title talks about Teddy’s life before he become President. He talks about how his father challenged and loved him even though he was a sickly child and his relationship with his family. Morris talks about his childhood, his years at university, his numerous stints at the Capital before becoming president and all the joyous and saddening life events outside of the limelight. I have not read many detailed biographies about this man, mainly short general overviews.
Morris goes into detail and I learned a lot of things I did not know previously. I learned about his time in the war, being in the West, and him as a husband and father. While this is the first of three books written about Teddy’s there is so much packed into the pages. Sometimes, even as someone with a history degree, history books can be dull and uninviting. Morris overcomes this by keeping the pacing at a good speed and does not drag out material to fill the pages.
I gave this book a 4/5 star rating on GoodReads it has a rating of 4.23 out of 23,034 reviews. The reason behind my ratings is that Morris I feel does not give enough footnotes for the amount of material presented. It may be “common knowledge” for professional historians, but for most I do not think that it is. I do look into endnotes frequently when I read historical books because I want to see the sources and see where the author got their ideas. Even with this I will continue on with Morris’ books on Theodore Roosevelt, in fact I have already purchased them.
I will say I went between an audiobook and a printed edition during my reading. I enjoyed the experience on both platforms.