Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: A Free and Hardy Life: Theodore Roosevelt’s Sojourn in the American West by Clay S. Jenkinson

It’s true that no other President is as closely associated with the American West as Theodore Roosevelt. Born and educated in the east, Roosevelt first set foot out west when he was a young man and instantly fell in love with the open spaces and way of
life. These things would come to influence both him and his presidency greatly, his noted conservationism shaped as it was by his extensive association with the life and land then prevalent out West. As Clay S. Jenkinson remarks in A Free and
Hardy Life (Dakota Institute):
In the American West Roosevelt found his health, his adult persona, his conservation ethic, and one of the principal arenas in which to strive valiantly. First the American West transformed Theodore Roosevelt. Then Roosevelt transformed the American West.
Though the focus here is on the Western years, we see slices of all of Roosevelt’s life, from childhood, through both marriages, fatherhood, the presidency and his impact on American life and culture. These glimpse’s into Roosevelt’s life are illustrated by many never-before-published photographs and punctuated with his own words, from various of his writings.

The book is large, brilliantly produced and reproduced and would make a terrific gift. ◊

Aaron Blanton is a contributing editor to January Magazine. He’s currently working on a book based on his experiences as an American living abroad.

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