The Strenuous Life: Theodore Roosevelt and the Making of the American Athlete

Ryan Swanson. Diversion, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-6357-6612-7
Historian Swanson (When Baseball Went White) presents a fascinating account of president Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) and his influence on high school and collegiate sports in America. Swanson looks beyond the legend of Roosevelt—the brash masculinity, the exploits of the Rough Riders—to describe a man who grew up asthmatic, myopic, undersized, and physically unsure of himself. Swanson explains the future president’s belief that achieving physical endurance should be one’s goal, and that a “life of toil and effort and strife” was important to both individuals and the country at large. Through Roosevelt, Swanson describes “America’s sport revolution” and provides insight as to “how sports in America came to develop as they did.” Swanson shares anecdotes of Roosevelt’s public support of sports: his attending the Army-Navy football game in 1901 after having just been assigned office, playing tennis with his cabinet members outside the Oval Office, and championing athletes such as boxer Jack Johnson. Swanson details the founding of the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL), and Roosevelt’s role in shaping the early days of the NCAA. Sports fans and history buffs alike will enjoy this focused portrait of President Roosevelt. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/07/2019
Release date: 08/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-63576-611-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-72138-706-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-72138-707-6
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