"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Harvard's Harvey Mansfield writes in the New Criterion on the "Manliness of Theodore Roosevelt." Prof. Mansfield purports to be in favor, but you get the sense he'd share the French ambassador's chagrin at actually having had to join one of TR's bracing hikes cross hill, dale and freezing stream. (Via Power Line)
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"I see therein the man I hoped I was." A touching write-up appears in the Chicago Tribune on the tribute volume assembled for John Gable, executive director of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, before his recent death from cancer.
[Roosevelt biographer Edward] Renehan points to some TRA members' "Herculean efforts" to be included in the project -- noted historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. was about to go into the hospital himself. So was William Harbaugh...
Renehan collected the essays, had them bound into a handsome volume and, on Jan. 18, presented the outpouring of admiration and affection to Gable at his home in Long Island, N.Y.
Gable was deeply moved by the little book. It took him several days to read it all, because of the profusion of details and the emotions they aroused.
Then he wrote a short note to Renehan, who passed it along to us:
"I see therein the man I hoped I was."
John Gable died Friday in Glen Cove, Long Island. His brother Patrick was at his side, reading aloud from the tribute book.
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The NYT's Janet Maslin reviews the new TR biography, When Trumpets Call, by Patricia O'Toole:
Roosevelt's description of having cooked and eaten an elephant's heart, she says, is the most ecstatic passage in 500 pages of his "African Game Trails." So it was no wonder that when Roosevelt returned home, after state visits to Europe that included a stop in England for King Edward VII's funeral ("it will be a wonder if the poor corpse gets a passing thought," wrote one of the former president's close associates), he was armed for bear. The bear in question, President Taft, emerges as the saddest, most compelling figure in O'Toole's political group portrait.
Carl Rollyson in the NY Sun writes biographer O'Toole tapped an underutilized resource, the letters of Taft aide Captain Archie Butt, in describing the rift that formed between TR and Taft:
Not only was Butt Taft's constant companion, he had also been a confidant of TR and was uniquely placed to assess both men during the period when TR concluded that his protege had reneged on the progressive platform he had expected him to enact. Others have certainly made use of Butt's published letters, but the resourceful Ms. O'Toole checked the microfilm copies and discovered that Butt's editor had censored a good deal - especially those passages dealing with Taft's health and Butt's reflections on the tensions between TR and Taft.
Drawing not only on Butt and a multitude of other sources, Ms. O'Toole presents a riveting account of what went wrong between TR and Taft and of how TR decided to run for president under the banner of the Bull Moose party in 1912…
The scholastic Wilson and the judicious Taft made wonderful foils for the rough riding Roosevelt. TR scoffed at Woodrow Wilson as a weakling. No one would believe that Wilson was having an affair, TR told a staff member who brought the scandalous rumor to him, because Wilson had the demeanor of an apothecary clerk. In TR's view, Taft failed because he was not a proactive president. In a way, Ms. O'Toole plays TR's game, for much of her narrative emphasizes Taft's phlegmatic, timid nature, which was bolstered by an inherent conservatism. #