The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

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Simon and Schuster, Nov 5, 2013 - BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY - 910 pages
55 Reviews
One of the Best Books of the Year as chosen by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor, and more. “A tale so gripping that one questions the need for fiction when real life is so plump with drama and intrigue” (Associated Press).

The gap between rich and poor has never been wider…legislative stalemate paralyzes the country…corporations resist federal regulations…spectacular mergers produce giant companies…the influence of money in politics deepens…bombs explode in crowded streets…small wars proliferate far from our shores…a dizzying array of inventions speeds the pace of daily life.

These unnervingly familiar headlines serve as the backdrop for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s highly anticipated The Bully Pulpit—a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air.

The story is told through the intense friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft—a close relationship that strengthens both men before it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country’s history.

The Bully Pulpit is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources. The muckrakers are portrayed through the greatest group of journalists ever assembled at one magazine—Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White—teamed under the mercurial genius of publisher S. S. McClure.

Goodwin’s narrative is founded upon a wealth of primary materials. The correspondence of more than four hundred letters between Roosevelt and Taft begins in their early thirties and ends only months before Roosevelt’s death. Edith Roosevelt and Nellie Taft kept diaries. The muckrakers wrote hundreds of letters to one another, kept journals, and wrote their memoirs. The letters of Captain Archie Butt, who served as a personal aide to both Roosevelt and Taft, provide an intimate view of both men.

The Bully Pulpit, like Goodwin’s brilliant chronicles of the Civil War and World War II, exquisitely demonstrates her distinctive ability to combine scholarly rigor with accessibility. It is a major work of history—an examination of leadership in a rare moment of activism and reform that brought the country closer to its founding ideals.
 

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Review: The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

User Review  - AJ Howard - Goodreads

I'm not 100% sure if I agree with her characterizations (her Taft seems almost too likable). And her take on the Taft-Roosevelt split left a little to be desired. Sure, Roosevelt's need to be the ... Read full review

Review: The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

User Review  - Goodreads

Phew! That was a long one. It was excellent, though maybe a bit TR heavy. But that is how the relationship between TR and Taft was, TR sprinting ahead and dragging everyone in his wake while Taft ... Read full review

Contents

The Hunter Returns
1
The Judge and the Politician
50
Nellie Herron Taft
87
Edith Carow Roosevelt
109
The Insider and the Outsider
134
Like a Boy on Roller Skates
203
Governor and Governor General
239
That Damned Cowboy Is President
279
Like a War Horse
655
My Hat Is in the Ring
672
Bosom Friends Bitter Enemies
697
Armageddon
718
Epilogue
743
Acknowledgments
751
Notes
753
Illustration Credits
869

The Most Famous Woman in America
324
A Mission to Perform
348
Toppling Old Bosses
366
Thank Heaven You Are to Be with Me
385
A Smile That Wont Come Off
401
Sitting on the Lid
424
The American People Reach a Verdict
444
Cast into Outer Darkness
467
To Cut Mr Taft in Two
497
Taft Boom Wall Street Bust
516
Kingmaker and King
534
A Great Stricken Animal
557
A SelfInflicted Wound
583
St George and the Dragon
605
The Parting of the Ways
634
Index xi
871
109
872
134
875
157
876
203
882
239
890
279
893
324
894
385
896
424
904
444
907
605
908
871
909
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Doris Kearns Goodwin is the author of the runaway bestseller Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. She won the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II and is also the author of the bestsellers Wait Till Next Year, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, and Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband, Richard N. Goodwin.

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