Theodore Roosevelt: Champion of the American Spirit

by Betsy Harvey Kraft

In Betsy Harvey Kraft’s spirited biography, Theodore Roosevelt’s life... read more

In Betsy Harvey Kraft’s spirited biography, Theodore Roosevelt’s life unfolds with all the excitment one might expect in a book about a man whose exploits are sometimes seen as almost larger than life: game hunter, cattle rancher, Rough Rider. But the more intriguing aspects of Roosevelt’s history turn out to be his no less passionate pursuit of social justice, environmental protection, and progressive political reform. Kraft’s portrait begins with a Roosevelt’s childhood, which contrasts with the vigorous man who later emerged. Teedie, as Roosevelt was known as a boy, was a fragile child prone to illness. But he also had all the privileges of wealth, and so opportunities to travel, or to summer in the then-expansive rustic areas of Long Island, are part of what led to his love of nature, and his broad world views. His was also a family committed to social reform. He carried all of these ideals into his political career in adulthood. It is likely most children and teens today know Roosevelt, the 26th U.S. president, only from history books, if at all. This captivating biography will introduce them to the complex individual behind the office. While this portrait of Roosevelt gives a sense of both his public and private life, it is a vivid picture of the former that emerges most clearly. Black-and-white photographs illustrate the volume. (Ages 10–15)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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