9780230102774

Theodore Roosevelt Abroad Nature, Empire, and the Journey of an American President

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780230102774

  • ISBN10:

    0230102778

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-04-15
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Summary

In a life full of momentous episodes, Theodore Roosevelt's fifteen-month post-presidential odyssey to Africa and Europe has never been given its due place. The great adventure across the Dark Continent fulfilled a long-held dream for the hunter-naturalist aspect of his multi-faceted character. However, besides big game rifles, Roosevelt also brought along his bully pulpit and accompanying ideals. While he shot elephant and rhino in their East African possessions, he could not refrain from also lecturing Britain's flabby Liberal government on the exertions required to keep up their share of the burden of empire, returning the sentiment his friend Rudyard Kipling had urged on the United States during the Spanish-American War.Roosevelt went abroad in part so that his friend and chosen successor, William Howard Taft, could plow his own furrow without the appearance of interference. However, while Roosevelt realized one dream of nature on safari, he came to believe another, even more vital to his heart and legacy, was being undermined at home. Everyone assumed, and Taft declared, that he would continue Roosevelt's policiesconservation first. In this they all, Roosevelt included, were wrong. Leaving Taft alone in the political jungles of Washington proved a huge error with devastating results, most importantly an acrimonious split between the two old friends that led directly to the election of Woodrow Wilson.A tale of daring adventure, international celebrity, a friendship lost, and a political legacy transformed,Theodore Roosevelt Abroadis the first full account of this important time in history.

Author Biography

J. Lee Thompson is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Professor of History at Lamar University. He holds a Ph.D. in Modern British History. His previous books are A Wider Patriotism: Alfred Milner and the British Empire, Forgotten Patriot: A Life of Alfred, Viscount of Milner of St. James’ and Cape Town, and Politicians, the Press and Propaganda: Lord Northcliffe and the Great War, 1914-1919. Dr. Thompson was president of the Western Conference of British Studies and on the Council of the North American Conference on British Studies from 2005-2006.

Table of Contents

The Old Lion Departs * The Great Adventure Begins * A Lion Roars in East Africa * White Rhino and Giant Eland * Down the Nile; Khartoum to Cairo * European Whirl * Peace Emissary * Last Rites: England * The Old Lion is Dead: Epilogue and Dramatis Personae

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