Book Review: The Wilderness Warrior – Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley – An interesting account of the birth of America’s conservation movement and how it affects Colorado land today. Written by ranch broker, Ed Roberson.
It is a running joke among my close friends and family that I have a fanatic, somewhat obsessive, level of admiration for Theodore Roosevelt. Ever since I first read Edmund Morris’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, I’ve been completely enamored (okay… obsessed) with T.R. and his amazing life story.
Everyone knows that he was President of the United States, but, in my opinion, that is one of the least interesting parts of this man’s life. He was a naturalist, a boxer, a historian, an author, a war hero, a big game hunter, a cowboy, a frontier town deputy sheriff, the New York City Police Commissioner, and a jungle explorer.
The following anecdote sums up T.R.’s toughness, as well as the interestingness of his life:
During a campaign appearance in 1912, he was shot in the chest by a lunatic anarchist. Luckily, T.R.’s steel glasses case and 50-page speech slowed the bullet enough so that it stopped when it hit his rib, just short of his lungs and heart. Although his life had been spared, he was left with a bloody, serious open chest wound, as well as a bullet lodged permanently in his rib.
Instead of being whisked away by the secret service to the nearest hospital, T.R. got up off the ground and grabbed the assassin by the head so that he would look the man in the eyes. Then, still refusing medical treatment, T.R. composed himself and gave a 90-minute speech! He acknowledged the expanding bloodstain on his shirt by telling his audience “I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose!”
I could go on and on, but more on Colorado land conservation and the book recommendation tomorrow in Part 2 of my 3-part series.