The phrase “larger than life” seems tailor-made for Teddy Roosevelt, who was a man of action, big ideas, and even bigger –though often controversial – accomplishments. He was also a man of contradictions: He glorified war, yet he was the first president to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He loved hunting, but he was also an avid conservationist who doubled the number of national parks. Teddy Roosevelt, for kids, explores these quirks and the life of this complex man. From a frail, sickly boy, he grew up to rustle cattle in the Dakota Badlands and led his Rough Riders to victory in the Spanish-American War. He entered political life with the same gusto, becoming Mayor of New York, Vice President – and then President in 1901 when McKinley was shot.
Roosevelt, kids will learn, fought hard for what he believed in during his two terms, pushing for government regulation of business and trying to bust trusts. He also had a powerful vision of the role of the U.S. as a world power, believing it was his right to invade Latin American countries. On the other hand, he opposed colonialism, negotiated peace between Russia and Japan when war broke out between them, and masterminded the construction of the Panama Canal. To give some perspective, the complicated larger world surrounding Roosevelt, for kids, is also explored here, which included a growing divide between rich and poor, debates over immigration, rapid urbanization, and rampant political corruption.