“Mornings on Horseback” by David McCullough


Audio, abridged version. (I really dislike abridged books, especially of someone like McCullough!  Inadvertently selected this version.  Needless to say I was very perplexed when about 1/3 through, the [decent] male narrator’s voice was replaced by some monotone woman … luckily just to bridge the gap, so to speak.)

I like Roosevelt.  I like his “take the bull by the horns” approach to life.  He is so … genuine.  He knows what’s what and is not afraid to tell you about it or even die for it.

I read another TR biography some years before starting this blog.  McCullough’s version is kind of different from that more general biography in that it focuses solely on his early life, pretty much before his involvement in politics on a national scale.  TR came from wealth and because of that had a lot of freedom.  No formal schooling, just tutors and direct exploration-style learning during his family’s year-long trips to Europe or Egypt.  At the same time, he and his family had a lot of health challenges to deal with — money can’t buy everything.  I sensed a lot of love in his family.  His father, Theodore Sr., was a pretty great man in his own right.  It’s kind of sad how unremembered he is, even if it is mainly due to the oversized shadow of his son.

I still cry a little when I hear about Theodore’s reaction on the day both his wife and mother died: “The light has gone out of my life.”

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