Charles Wheeler

He Relished the Burdens of High Office

Theodore Rex

By

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Theodore Roosevelt was a phenomenon. Reading this absorbing account of his eight years in the White House, I’m reminded of the days when it was not exceptional for half a dozen qualified men to fight it out for the presidency. Consider the line-up in 1968. On the right, Richard Nixon, who was to win, and three governors of major states – John Rockefeller of New York, George Romney of Michigan and Ronald Reagan of California; and among the Democrats, Vice-President Hubert Humphrey and three senior senators: Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern. Not once in the past thirty years have the two major parties offered American voters such a choice – nowadays, the field is all too often overcrowded with political dwarfs struggling for ‘name recognition’.

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