Biographies and Biographical Profiles

Bishop, Joseph Bucklin. Theodore Roosevelt and His Time, Shown in His Letters. 2 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920. This is an "official biography" of Roosevelt, authorized by TR, who approved part of the first draft before his death in 1919. Bishop stated that the work "supplements and completes" TR's Autobiography (1913). Extensive use made of TR's letters. The work, much maligned by critics, has real value since it expresses TR's own views on his career; but, of course, Bishop should be used with the caution needed in evaluating any autobiography.

Burton, David Henry. Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1972. A short biography in Twayne's Rulers and Statesmen of the World series by a perceptive scholar.

Cadenhead, I. E., Jr. Theodore Roosevelt: The Paradox of Progressivism. Woodbury, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 1974. A basic biography which includes a good discussion of the historiography of TR.

Chessman, G. Wallace. Theodore Roosevelt and the Politics of Power. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1969. From the Library of American Biography series, at 214 pages this is the best short biography of TR.

Einstein, Lewis. Roosevelt: His Mind in Action. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1930. Few of the early biographies of Roosevelt, including those by William Roscoe Thayer, Lord Charnwood, Harold Howland, and William Draper Lewis, have much utility, except for selected sections, for later scholars, but diplomat Einstein's interpretative biography still merits consideration.

Gardner, Joseph L. Departing Glory: Theodore Roosevelt as Ex-President. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973. Detailed and well-written account of TR's last years, 1909-1919.

Grantham, Dewey W., Jr., ed. Theodore Roosevelt. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1971. A good collection of writings by TR's contemporaries and later historians in the Great Lives Observed series.

Harbaugh, William Henry. Power and Responsibility: The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Cudahy, 1961. The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. Rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1975. Dewey W. Grantham, Jr., states that Harbaugh has produced "the most comprehensive and reliable one-volume biography" of TR, "an authoritative and fair-minded study." This remains the best one-volume complete biography of TR. Excellent bibliography with update in 1975 edition.

Keller, Morton, ed. Theodore Roosevelt: A Profile. New York: Hill and Wang, 1967. This volume in the American Profiles series contains assessments of TR by contemporaries and historians, and includes important negative judgements on TR by H. L. Mencken, Stuart P. Sherman, John R. Chamberlain, and others.

Mc Cullough, David. Mornings on Horseback. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981. An analytical and narrative account, marked by psychological insight and attention to social history, of TR and his family circle in the years 1858-1886; winner of the National Book Award.

Morris, Edmund.
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Coward, McCann and Georghegan, 1979. Morris's brilliantly written book, which won the Pulitzer Prize, follows TR up to 1901, and is the first volume of a projected three-volume biography. Morris gives a detailed account of the first part of TR's career, with informative notes explaining the sources and reasons for interpretations. This is one of the most important and widely read books on TR.

Pringle, Henry F. Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company,1931. The Harcourt, Brace paperback edition (1956) lacks footnotes and is condensed, and therefore the 1931 edition should be used by scholars. Pringle's biography won the Pulitzer Prize, and for many years was the most influential book on TR. A product of the "debunking" school of biography, Pringle's biography is useful as a negative assessment of TR, although Pringle's scholarship has long since been supplanted by the work of Harbaugh, Morris, George E. Mowry, and many other historians.

Putnam, Carleton. Theodore Roosevelt: The Formative Years, 1858-1886. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1958. Putnam's work stands with Morris and McCullough as one of three great studies of Roosevelt's early life and career. Rich in detail, Morris says the Putnam biography is a "masterpiece." Putnam originally intended to write further volumes, but the project was abandoned.

Robinson, Corinne Roosevelt. My Brother Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921. This biography by TR's sister, the poet, Mrs. Douglas Robinson is an admiring tribute; "sentimental and inaccurate, but of prime importance nevertheless," Edmund Morris says.

Wister, Owen. Roosevelt: The Story of a Friendship, 1880-1919. New York: Macmillan Company, 1930. Wister, the author of The Virginian, a novel dedicated to TR, was a close friend of Roosevelt's over the years, and this biographical study show the views of Roosevelt partisans.

Wood, Frederick S., ed. Roosevelt As We Knew Him: The Personal Recollections of One Hundred and Fifty of His Friends and Associates. Philadelphia: John C. Winston Company, 1927. Arranged in biographical sequence, this is a useful collection of memories and anecdotes of many who knew TR.

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