.R. by Noel F. Busch


Email this review


The Story of Theodore Roosevelt and His Influence in Our Times ""is one more of those tantalizing historical conjectures upon which it may be permissible to speculate"". Busch perhaps unnecessarily (with Hagedorn as henchman, and others) now contributes a further exoneration of and eulogy to Theodore Roosevelt. It does not tell everything in the Great Man's life; it merely attempts to assemble the facts of a notable career so that readers can agree with the biographer that his time was superbly well-spent. Mr. Busch' time was perhaps less well spent: he preens himself in his paragraphs and atronizes those who don't know T.R. as he does; he also apologizes for him in terms that the subject would not have condoned. For instance, Time magazine (because of confounder Briton Hadden's bristling moustache and his habit of clacking his teeth like T.R.) and Hemingway (because of his love of hunting wild game in Africa) are examples of T.R.'s deep penetration into the psyche of the U.S. The main point in Mr. Busch's biography is that T.R. had a strenuously clear intelligence and grasp of particulars right to the end, which is where his critics usually chop down the totem. From what is presented here, T.R. certainly did. He emerges as one of the most superior men who ever lived even though Busch's unexciting writing does not help him to come alive now.

Publisher: Morrow-Reynal