Charles Wheeler

He Relished the Burdens of High Office

Theodore Rex

By

Harper Collins 784pp £25 order from our bookshop

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’.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Who is Bibi, and why does he simultaneously arouse such admiration and antagonism?' A review of the newest biograp… ,
    • RT : Joseph Brodsky had a story about about one marathon Fidel Castro speech that was so tedious and repetitive it spark… ,
    • Here's reviewing Rachel Kushner's novel about a woman caught in the injustice of the US prison system,… ,
    • 'Hart sets out to unsettle, startle and disturb. In this strange, disconcerting, radical version of a strange, disc… ,
    • Here is @MannJessica's June crime fiction round-up, discussing books by Georges Simenon, Jack Grimwood,… ,
    • John Stubbs reviews Stephen Greenblatt's latest, 'Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power' ,
    • RT : What happened when US military strategist Herman Kahn - one of Kubrick’s three models for Dr Strangelove - took LSD… ,