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Summary

In this groundbreaking epic biography, Douglas Brinkley draws on never-before-published materials to examine the life and achievements of our "naturalist president."

By setting aside more than 230 million acres of wild America for posterity between 1901 and 1909, Theodore Roosevelt made conservation a universal endeavor. This crusade for the American wilderness was perhaps the greatest U.S. presidential initiative between the Civil War and World War I. Roosevelt's most important legacies led to the creation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and passage of the Antiquities Act in 1906. His executive orders saved such treasures as Devils Tower, the Grand Canyon, and the Petrified Forest.

Tracing the role that nature played in Roosevelt's storied career, Brinkley brilliantly analyzes the influence that the works of John James Audubon and Charles Darwin had on the young man who would become our 26th president. With descriptive flair, the author illuminates Roosevelt's bird watching in the Adirondacks, wildlife obsession in Yellowstone, hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains, ranching in the Dakota Territory, hunting in the Big Horn Mountains, and outdoor romps through Idaho and Wyoming. He also profiles Roosevelt's incredible circle of naturalist friends, including the Catskills poet John Burroughs, Boone and Crockett Club cofounder George Bird Grinnell, forestry zealot Gifford Pinchot, buffalo breeder William Hornaday, Sierra Club founder John Muir, U.S. Biological Survey wizard C. Hart Merriam, Oregon Audubon Society founder William L. Finley, and pelican protector Paul Kroegel, among many others. He brings to life hilarious anecdotes of wild-pig hunting in Texas and badger saving in Kansas, wolf catching in Oklahoma and grouse flushing in Iowa. Even the story of the teddy bear gets its definitive treatment.

Destined to become a classic, this extraordinary and timeless biography offers a penetrating and colorful look at Roosevelt's naturalist achie...

©2009 Douglas Brinkley (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

This is a long listen, but it is such a beautifully written and narrated story that I don't regret the time spent. I was immersed in the life and times TR and fascinated by the details of his life and how much we owe to his actions.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan
  • 05-07-16

dull and wordy

Bought it because of national parks and TR.
Felt like an overlong Publish or Perish, over 40 hours, or nearly 1000 pages, and drily academic in tone. Not well done, I was extremely disappointed.
The narrator was adequate.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • IowaGreyhound
  • 03-10-16

A must read for all who appreciate nature

This gives a thorough history of Theodore Roosevelt, his love for nature, and his efforts to preserve it in National Monuments and National Parks. It sometimes goes into too much detail about other characters in the fight for conservation, but it all fits together. I feel like I personally know Theodore Roosevelt after listening to this Book. It is long, but worth every word.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 23-06-13

Inspirational

A fascinating perspective on TR. Meticulously researched and presented. This book will make you want to go tour the National Parks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Avid Audibler
  • 17-07-11

Finely written, detailed history....

As a purchaser of many other audio books on Teddy Roosevelt - I seem to enjoy those that really present a more up close and personal side of this amazing character, rather than more or less a straight-forward relaying of the facts...This book, while very detailed and well written, falls more into this latter category. Through an extensive array of vignettes, the contribution to wildlife and environmental preservation on behalf of Teddy Roosevelt comes to life. The picture it paints is one of overwhelming dedication to environmental stewardship. A fine, detailed account of the many contributions of Roosevelt, the relationships he had with notable early environmentalists and many other influential folk who shaped our modern day park and forestry systems.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Philip
  • 21-02-10

Great history of our land preservation

Great insight into TR's passion and visionary actions to protect our natural resources. A little too much detail on all the preservation actions for my liking though. Could have been half this length.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Susan Gardner Bowers
  • 13-01-10

I DID keep listening

This must be a good book, since in spite of its substantive as well as annoying flaws, I finished it. The errors of fact (wrong birth date for Lincoln, for example) are well documented in other reviews. Where the print version apparently suffers from typos, the audible version suffers from mispronounciations. Canyon de CheLLY NOT! It's Canyon de Shay. Mt. DESSERT Island, not Mt. Desert. This lack of fact-checking and simple attention to detail certainly causes concern about the validity of the rest of the book. What about errors the reader/listener doesn't recognize? Too bad that the scholarship and/or editing casts doubt on the, well, validity, of the book. That being said, I did finish it.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon Hiltz
  • 02-06-18

Must read for hunters, and all citizens

This is incredibly well written and researched. All hunters and sportsmen should read this book and champion TR’s conservation values and mission.

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  • Alicia P. Pressel
  • 18-04-18

Interesting read!

Well written and well spoken. This book was incredibly informative about the life of TR.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • darryl
  • 22-03-18

excellent

anybody that enjoys the outdoors should read this. a great history of parks and foestst and monuments.

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  • Robert Griffith
  • 11-08-17

Teddy Roosevelt: amazing person, president and American.

Capitulating story about a president that changed the US as much as any other in ways that still affect us today. The details that are shared are incredible. Well worth a listen.