Recently posted quotes:

"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.” -Will Rogers (1879-1935)

"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it." -James Madison (1751-1836)

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Roosevelts - An Intimate History

Probably, by now you realize that I am a huge Roosevelt fan (TR, that is; but I do like the other two: Franklin and Eleanor). I wanted to share some thoughts on the Mini-Series that is currently playing on PBS (third evening of seven showed last night).

I have met and talked with two of the biographers commenting on the images and antics we have been watching over the last several nights.

First, there is H. W. Brands; author of the FDR biography; “A Traitor to His Class; The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt” (by the way, I just finished Brand’s book on Grant: “The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant In War and Peace”). Both are excellent books that I thoroughly enjoyed. I run into Mr. Brands frequently at BookPeople and the Texas Book Fair. He seems to always be there introducing us to another of his really interesting and thought provoking manuscripts. Do not be misled: I do not know him personally, but he does seem to recognize people he has contacted before very easily. He can mesmerize an audience with little effort and is a strong argument for his way of approaching the history he expounds.

The second biographer we saw several times briefly last night (Tuesday). Candice Millard is the author of “The River of Doubt; Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey” (another by the way, I have also read Ms. Millard’s “Destiny of a Republic; A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President”James A. Garfield). Both of these are also excellent books and I highly recommend them. Ms. Millard is just as knowledgeable about the life and times of TR as anybody I have encountered.

I met Ms. Millard at the Texas Book Festival a couple of years back when she was there to speak about her latest release“Destiny of a Republic.” I was so impressed with her presentation that I decided to get a copy of “The River of Doubt.” Patsy had recently told me that she would leave home if I bought and brought into our home another book about Teddy Roosevelt. I mentioned this fact to Ms. Millard and told her as she was signing my copy of “Destiny of a Republic” that she may be the cause of my divorce because I was going to get “The River of Doubt” on my way home from the book fair. She responded that “I better sneak it into the house.” I timidly signaled, with my body blocking the view: “That’s her standing right there.” Ms. Millard just giggled and shooed me on my way.

While we are most likely through with TR as a subject in the Mini-Series, we are in no way through with his ideas and agenda. FDR pushes through most of the remainder of TR’s “Square Deal” agenda during his “New Deal” administration.

I am really looking forward (each day) to the next episode.

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