A political rather than a personal biography, this balanced and often fascinating book is an interpretation of Theodore Roosevelt's career in today's terms- his impact on his own times and his still enduring influence. Emphasizing TR's amazing personality rather than his private life, Harbaugh traces his early political posts, his later terms as vice-president and president. Pugnacious, convinced that he could do anything better than anyone else, TR was a man of great achievements, large inconsistencies and disastrous mistakes. A man of wealth, he endorsed the Anti-trust laws; the friend of labor leaders, but never understanding labor's demands, he opposed needed labor legislation. A big game hunter, he still battled vested interests to preserve wild life and public lands and gave the country its first Conservation laws. Loving war, gaining personal glory from the not-so-glorious Spanish- American War which he himself sparked, by his role of ""Peacemaker"" between Russia and Japan, TR helped make the U.S. a world power, while his Panama Canal and China policies left an aftermath of bitterness which has not faded. ""Always thrusting his bull neck into controversy"", charming enemies, alienating friends, TR's ""most dramatic contribution to American life"" was not his own reforms, but ""his arousal of the public conscience to the need of further reforms"". Sparing neither praise nor criticism, this is an accurate and often exciting biography which should find a general audience-regardless of the reader's pre-existing sympathies.