Letters and Speeches

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Library of America, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 915 pages
This unprecedented volume brings together 367 letters written by Theodore Roosevelt between 1881 and 1919 as well as four of his most famous speeches. Addressed to his family, and to an immense range of correspondents that includes Jacob Riis, Rudyard Kipling, Henry Cabot Lodge, John Hay, Owen Wister, Upton Sinclair, Alfred Thayer Mahan, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Roosevelt's letters demonstrate the astonishing extent of his interests and accomplishments while revealing the personal dimension of one of our greatest statesmen. Roosevelt describes climbing the Matterhorn; hunting grizzly bears and cougars; reading Anna Karenina while pursuing thieves through the Dakota wilderness; playing with his children; visiting Panama during the digging of the canal; and being shot while running for president in 1912. And, most poignantly, Roosevelt reveals the pride and anxiety he felt when his sons went off to battle in World War I, and the profound grief he experienced when his youngest child was killed. Also included are four speeches, best known by the phrases they introduced into the language: "The Strenuous Life" (1899); "The Big Stick" (1901); "The Man in the Arena" (1910); and "The New Nationalism" (1910).

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Letters and speeches

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Of the Presidents whose writings have been included among the first 152 volumes in the Library of America series, only Lincoln and now Theodore Roosevelt have merited two separate volumes. Scholars ... Read full review


Anna Roosevelt August 5 1881
An Unknown Correspondent May 11884
Henry Cabot lxdge November 7 1884

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About the author (2004)

Periodically throughout his extraordinary career, Theodore Roosevelt turned to the writing of history. Energetic about everything he did, he imbued his writing with verve and a strong sense of drama that continues to attract readers today. Born in New York City and educated at Harvard University, he immersed himself in public affairs long before he became President of the United States. A man of many talents, he was, among other things, police commissioner, mayoral candidate, rancher, hunter, explorer, soldier, and governor. His strong sense of history probably influenced his actions more times than not, and certainly he brought to the White House in 1901 an awareness of how much the past conditions the present and informs the future. Roosevelt made history, influenced history, and wrote history.