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The Most Interesting American: Personal Encounters, Quotations, and First-Hand Impressions of Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt largely is known today by stereotypes and his many accomplishments—but the full and fascinating essence of the man is fading. In this book, TR charges back!
Historian Rick Marschall has collected almost five hundred quotations, descriptions, impressions, and memories of the “Most Interesting American” derived from vintage newspapers, magazines, scrapbooks, diaries, letters and so much more. In chapters devoted to his personality as a family man, a conservationist, an intellectual, patriot, activist, and as an American TR comes alive as never before seen.
In more than a century since his death, the personal attributes that endeared Theodore to his America have become obscured. In this book of firsthand, eyewitness accounts TR comes roaring back to us in all of his astonishing ways!
Theodore Roosevelt was the biggest character in US history, as William Allen White declared: “an overgrown personality.” Rick Marschall has collected a broad sampling to help us understand the many elements of the man – the erudite and the exuberant, the dogged and the aphoristic, the warm boyish TR and the serious scholar and shrewd political leader. TR attracted devoted followers and harsh critics, then and now. You can’t understand TR without taking in the contradictions, the flaws, the virtues, and the amazing scope of the man. Enjoy this book!
—Kathleen Dalton, author, Theodore Roosevelt, A Strenuous Life
If you love Theodore Roosevelt as I do, Rick Marschall’s new book is a must-have, must-read. I wish I could memorize every TR quotation that Rick has uncovered. A fast-paced, can’t-put-it-down book! It will be my first choice to share with family and friends who love TR… or who need to know him.
—Bernadette Castro, former Commissioner, New York State Office of Historic Preservation; member, Theodore Roosevelt Association Advisory Board
Capturing the prism of a fellow like Theodore Roosevelt is a mega-task requiring an artist’s eye and a writer’s nose! Rick Marschall makes it look so easy! Wonderful insights into a complex subject! TR must be grinning from ear to ear!
—Feather Schwartz Foster, author, The First Ladies and Mary Lincoln’s Flannel Pajamas; and the POTUS-FLOTUS blog, www.featherschwartzfoster.blog.
The real Theodore Roosevelt leaps off the pages of Rick Marschall’s new book, The Most Interesting American. It allows those who actually knew Theodore to speak about the man, giving readers an insightful look into the man behind the legend. In this case, the man more than lives up to the legend. It is a BULLY! of a book.
—Michael F. Blake, author, The Cowboy President: The American West and The Making of Theodore Roosevelt and Go West, Mr. President: Theodore Roosevelt’s Great Loop Tour of 1903.
Who better to paint a picture of who TR was as a statesman, family man, historian, rancher, and buddy than the contemporaries who experienced him in real time? Rick Marschall has assembled more than 150 of those voices who reveal what TR was like. The Most Interesting American adds the personality to the historical accomplishments we know so well. This is a unique portrait and a solid addition to the ongoing study of the Colonel.
—Terrence Brown, former Executive Director, Theodore Roosevelt Association; illustration historian and Director, Society of Illustrators, 1984-2006.
They say that the next life lasts for an eternity, and a good thing too: the wait to see the Colonel will be long indeed. If you want a sneak peek at what awaits you and a chance to spend time with those in line ahead of you – Jacob Riis, John Burroughs, William Allen White, and others – read Rick Marschall’s The Most Interesting American. Interesting Theodore Roosevelt was, but also, we learn, uncommonly kind, decent, and gentle; and imbued with a common touch that belied his blue-blood background. Well done, Rick, and if you get there before me, save me a spot in line, won’t you?
—Duane G. Jundt, Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University
The Most Interesting American is a fascinating and entertaining collection of insightful, fun, and often profound quotations about Theodore Roosevelt. They bring TR to life. Having served on the Executive Committee of the Theodore Roosevelt Association at the request of Jim Roosevelt, TR’s cousin and the godfather of my oldest son, and having rescued the only remaining archival TR film footage from decomposing into nitroglycerine, I was pleasantly surprised by the many first-hand revelations in The Most Interesting American. I recommend it highly.
—Dr. Ted Baehr, Chairman, Christian Film and Television Commission; Editor-in-chief, Movieguide
If you really want to know “The Colonel,” as those close to him called him, there is no better resource than those who actually knew him and knew him well. Here are their first-hand thoughts and impressions, collected in a single pithy and easy-to-read volume. Rick Marschall has met and spoken to Roosevelt family members (including TR’s ever- entertaining and rowdy daughter, Alice) and scoured thousands of articles and books to assemble The Most Interesting American. If you admire TR, this is a book you should have in your library.
—Rod Sullivan, Editor, The Roosevelt Dynasty: Family, Fitness & Faith on Facebook.
Rick Marschall truly lifted TR out of the dusty and cliched old history books. It is as if we the readers are there in TR’s time. TR becomes once again a fully realized person, foibles and all, seen through others’ eyes – those of his generation, be they friend or opponent. We finally meet a truly interesting man – TR.
—Maureen R. Trainor Nestor, M.Ed, Admin of the Theodore Roosevelt Facebook Group