“The Republican Roosevelt” is John Blum’s 1954 analysis of Theodore Roosevelt which was largely responsible for establishing TR’s reputation as a serious and consequential president. Blum was a historian focused on 20th-century politics, a professor at Yale for thirty-four years and the author of numerous books. He died in 2011 at the age of ninety.
Although often described as an early biography of Roosevelt, there is very little in Blum’s work that falls within that genre. Only in the vaguest sense does it attempt to chronologically, or comprehensively, cover TR’s life. Instead, it is an extremely skillful and often fascinating analysis of Roosevelt and his motivations.
In fact, Blum’s work is far more a series of essays on various aspects of Roosevelt’s moral and political philosophies than anything else. Occasionally it resembles a collection of lecture notes by a political scientist focused on Roosevelt’s career and times. But never will the…
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