Rough Riders by Theodore Roosevelt

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In 1898, as the Spanish-American War was escalating, Theodore Roosevelt assembled an improbable regiment of Ivy Leaguers, cowboys, Native Americans, African-Americans, and Western Territory land speculators. This group of men, which became known as the Rough Riders, trained for four weeks in the Texas desert and then set sail for Cuba. Over the course of the summer, Roosevelt's Rough Riders fought valiantly, and sometimes recklessly, in the Cuban foothills, incurring casualties at a far greater rate than the Spanish. Roosevelt kept a detailed diary from the time he left Washington until his triumphant return from Cuba later that year. The Rough Riders was published to instant acclaim in 1899.

Robust in its style and mesmerizing in its account of battle, it is exhilarating, illuminating, and utterly essential reading for every armchair historian and at-home general. The books in the Modern Library War series have been chosen by series editor Caleb Carr according to the significance of their subject matter, their contribution to the field of military history, and their literary merit.

About Theodore Roosevelt

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Theodore Roosevelt--the naturalist, writer, historian, soldier, and politician who became twenty-sixth president of the United States--was born inNew York City on October 27, 1858, into a distinguished family. He was the second of four children of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., a wealthyphilanthropist of Dutch descent, and the former Martha ('Mittie') Bulloch, an aristocratic Southern belle. An endlessly inquisitive young man, hewas especially interested in natural history, which became the focus of his first published works, Summer Birds of the Adirondacks (1877) andNotes on Some of the Birds of Oyster Bay (1879). Upon graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard in 1880 Roosevelt briefly studied law. Thenext year he was elected to the New York State Assembly on the Republican ticket and soon made a name for himself as a historian with TheNaval War of 1812 (1882).Following the death of his wife, Alice, in childbirth in 1884, Roosevelt sought change and headed west to ranch lands he had acquired in theDakota Territory. The young outdoorsman chronicled his years in the Bad Lands in Hunting Trips of a Ranchman (1885), the first volume in thenature trilogy that eventually included Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail (1888) and The Wilderness Hunter (1893). After failing to win the NewYork City mayoral election in 1886 as a self-styled 'Cowboy Candidate,' Roosevelt married childhood sweetheart Edith Kermit Carow and retiredfor a time to Sagamore Hill, his estate at Oyster Bay, Long Island. He wrote Gouveneur Morrisstatesman intended as a companion to the political memoir Life of Thomas Hart Benton (1887) and conceived the masterful four-volume historyThe Winning of the West (1889-1896).Roosevelt returned to public life in 1889. Appointed Civil Service Commissioner he spent the next six years in Washington energetically pushingfor reform of the government system, all the while propelling himself into the national spotlight. In 1895 he accepted a position as member, andlater president, of the Board of Police Commissioners of New York City. Known as 'a man you can't cajole, can't frighten, can't buy,' Rooseveltcontinued to enjoy growing prestige nationwide, and within two years he was named assistant secretary of the navy under President WilliamMcKinley. Resigning this office in May 1898 at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt helped organize and train the 'RoughRiders,' a regiment of the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry whose legendary exploits he recorded in The Rough Riders (1899). A popular hero uponreturning from Cuba, Roosevelt was elected governor of New York in November 1898, and two years later he became vice president of theUnited States in the second administration of William McKinley.The assassination of President McKinley in September 1901 placed Roosevelt in the White House, and he was elected president in 1904. For theremainder of the decade he embodied the boundless confidence of the nation as it entered the American Century. He promised a square deal for theworkingman, brought about trust-busting reforms aimed at regulating big business, and instituted modern-day environmental measures. The firstAmerican leader to play an important role in world affairs, Roosevelt guided construction of the Panama Canal, advocated a 'big stick' policy toenforce the Monroe Doctrine, and sought to keep the Open Door course in China. In 1906 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for resolving theRusso-Japanese War.After leaving office in 1909 he took an almost yearlong hunting trip to Africa and described his adventures in African Game Trails (1910). In1912 he made a bid for reelection on the progressive Bull Moose ticket but lost to Woodrow Wilson, who became a bitter enemy. Afterward hecompleted Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography (1913) and Through the Brazilian Wilderness (1914), an account of his explorations in SouthAmerica. With the outbreak of World War I, Roosevelt became an outspoken advocate of United States military preparedness in books such asAmerica and the World War (1915). His last work, The Great Adventure, appeared in 1918. Still entertaining the idea of running again foroffice, Theodore Roosevelt died in his sleep at Sagamore Hill on January 6, 1919.
Published November 1, 2000 by Modern Library. 262 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, War, Travel, Computers & Technology, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Education & Reference, Children's Books, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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The adventures of the famed volunteer cavalry regiment led by the ebullient, romantic, and charismatic Teddy Roosevelt in 1898.

May 29 1998 | Read Full Review of Rough Riders


As one of his troopers, Sergeant Buck Taylor, stated during Roosevelt's campaign for governor of New York in the autumn of 1898: "He told us we might meet wounds and death and we done it, but he was there in the midst of us, and when it came to the great day he led us up San Juan Hill like sheep ...

Aug 12 2001 | Read Full Review of Rough Riders

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