“Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition” is Jean Yarbrough’s 2012 review and analysis of Roosevent and his political philosophy. Her book is the result of more than a decade of research and work. Yarbrough is a Professor of Social Sciences at Bowdoin and is also the author of “American Virtues: Thomas Jefferson on the Character of a Free People.”
Obvious from its earliest pages is that Yarbrough’s work is not a traditional biography. Instead, it has been described as a semi-biography, as a political science text and as a normative analysis of TR’s political philosophy. At, indeed, at various points in the book it does fill each of these roles.
The central hypothesis of Yarbrough’s study is that Roosevelt’s political philosophy was neither constant nor consistent. While it shifted over time between extremes (from intense, competitive individualism in the early stages of his career to progressivism…
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