Roosevelt's Navy: The Education of a Warrior President, 1882-1920

James Tertius de Kay. Pegasus (Norton, dist.), $27.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-60598-285-4
Focusing on a pre-presidency Franklin Delano Roosevelt, de Kay's (A Rage for Glory) excellent and engaging character study begins by recounting the young boy's fascination with distant cousin Theodore Roosevelt and his thrilling book The Naval War of 1812, and ends with his unsuccessful bid for the vice-presidency in 1920, focusing throughout on FDR's abiding interest in naval warfare, and his development as an individual and a politician. In an elegantly sparing style, de Kay takes readers through Roosevelt's transformation from bellicose neophyte—in 1914 when war with Mexico seemed unavoidable, FDR was "thrilled by the news" and "prepared to rattle his saber" in support—to a more somber man of experience, who famously declared in 1936, "I hate war." Roosevelt is additionally revealed through his letters, where he is at times surprisingly witty and sardonic—writing to Eleanore in 1914, Roosevelt remarked that a certain government official, in response to the current crisis in Europe, was "feeling chiefly very sad that his faith in human nature and civilization and similar idealistic nonsense was receiving such a rude shock." Despite the cynicism, Roosevelt remains principled and dedicated to his country. For fans of biographies and political history, de Kay's newest is an expertly crafted work of intense focus and broad appeal. Photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4532-2627-8
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-60598-409-4
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-68177-037-6
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