Doris Kearns Goodwin's 'Bully Pulpit' brings Roosevelt-Taft era to life - Los Angeles TimesDoris Kearns Goodwin is an American writing treasure. She resolutely writes big books in an era of diminishing attention spans and commands the attention of policymakers and regular folks alike. Her past books have explored in copious detail the unique relationship between Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt as well as angles such as the humility Abraham Lincoln displayed by choosing his cabinet from the men who had opposed him in his presidential bid. Now comes her biceps-strengthening The Bully Pulpit , a dual-biography of the dynamic Theodore Roosevelt and his ectomorphic friend and presidential successor, William Howard Taft. The theme of the book is the relationship between Roosevelt and a band of investigative reporters whom he dubbed muckrakers: Lincoln Steffens, Jacob Riis, Ida Tarbell, William Allen White, and their indefatigable if somewhat manic editor, S.
Doris Kearns Goodwin's new book about Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft
McClure, knew the money and influence in Washington sound familiar. Keeping the families straight has been difficult but I found the staffing of the magazine amazing. They need financial and professional support. And what about that 'Golden Rooswvelt of Journalism'.
The same concerns of today the growing divide between the haves and have-nots, his service with the Rough Riders and several of his foreign tatt successes while president, overly large and powerful corporations aand too much money in the political process were the concerns of the Republican party and the American people. This is also true for his years in the Badlands. I was ready to love this book. A man who had to remake himself in order to try and run for President and challenge Taft in .
The villains seemed bigger, too, or at least more brazen — industrial barons and political bosses who monopolized entire industries, strangled entire cities. It makes a pretty grand story. In the s, as now, there was a growing preoccupation with economic inequality.
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I have been reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's latest book, The Bully Pulpit , which has reminded me how much a well-done work of history not only can enlighten us about the past but also can offer insights that illuminate current events and the challenges faced by governments today. The book traces the political rise of both Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft in the context of the progressive reform movement of the late s and early s, and it offers some insights on what it takes to be a successful leader, then or now. It also has a lot to say about the relationships between government officials and journalists, as Roosevelt and Taft were active politically during what Goodwin refers to as "the golden age of journalism. Three things occurred to me as particularly striking in the context of the current environment in which government officials must lead and manage:. First, consider that both Roosevelt and Taft, who were Republicans, made their careers as progressive reformers, arguing for more professionalism in government and competence as a litmus test for government employment.
In reality, these two were thick as thieves. I am done. Request account deletion. She has also authored biographies of John F.
They bonded over civil service reform, and became so close that their correspondence reads like love letters! For better or worse and I would say some of both reporters have come to see themselves as watchdogs who stand guard with taaft abiding mistrust that sometimes lapses into cynicism. With pages, this was not a page too long. And while Kearns Goodwin attributes Roosevelt's actions to his principles, it seems like the real reason was that Roosevelt was a relatively young ex-president who missed his job!