The Bully pulpit
by Doris Kearns Goodwin









The Bully pulpit
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Alternative Titles
Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the golden age of journalism

Summary
One of the Best Books of the Year as chosen by The New York Time s , The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor, and more. "A tale so gripping that one questions the need for fiction when real life is so plump with drama and intrigue" (Associated Press). The gap between rich and poor has never been wider...legislative stalemate paralyzes the country...corporations resist federal regulations...spectacular mergers produce giant companies...the influence of money in politics deepens...bombs explode in crowded streets...small wars proliferate far from our shores...a dizzying array of inventions speeds the pace of daily life. These unnervingly familiar headlines serve as the backdrop for Doris Kearns Goodwin's highly anticipated The Bully Pulpit -a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air. The story is told through the intense friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft-a close relationship that strengthens both men before it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country's history. The Bully Pulpit is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources. The muckrakers are portrayed through the greatest group of journalists ever assembled at one magazine-Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White-teamed under the mercurial genius of publisher S. S. McClure. Goodwin's narrative is founded upon a wealth of primary materials. The correspondence of more than four hundred letters between Roosevelt and Taft begins in their early thirties and ends only months before Roosevelt's death. Edith Roosevelt and Nellie Taft kept diaries. The muckrakers wrote hundreds of letters to one another, kept journals, and wrote their memoirs. The letters of Captain Archie Butt, who served as a personal aide to both Roosevelt and Taft, provide an intimate view of both men. The Bully Pulpit , like Goodwin's brilliant chronicles of the Civil War and World War II, exquisitely demonstrates her distinctive ability to combine scholarly rigor with accessibility. It is a major work of history-an examination of leadership in a rare moment of activism and reform that brought the country closer to its founding ideals.

Biographee
NameRoosevelt, Theodore
GenderMale
Dates1858-1919
OccupationPresident of the U.S.
Governor
Writer
Soldier
Conservationist
AttributesMarried
Father
Had a close friendship with Howard Taft; ended in the fight for the presidential nomination (1912)
BirthplaceOyster Bay, New York

NameTaft, William Howard
GenderMale
Dates1857-1930
OccupationPresident of the U.S.
Lawyer
AttributesMarried
Father
Republican
Had a close friendship with Theodore Roosevelt; it ended in the fight for the presidential nomination (1912)
BirthplaceCincinnati, Ohio


Genre
NonFiction
    --
Historical
    --
Political
    --
Sociological
    --
Biography

Topics
Roosevelt, Theodore
Taft, William Howard
U.S. presidents
Journalism
American politics and government
Political parties
Correspondence
American history

Setting
-- United States

Time Period
1880s-1919 -- 19th-20th century





One of the Best Books of the Year as chosen by The New York Time s , The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor, and more. "A tale so gripping that one questions the need for fiction when real life is so plump with drama and intrigue" (Associated Press). The gap between rich and poor has never been wider...legislative stalemate paralyzes the country...corporations resist federal regulations...spectacular mergers produce giant companies...the influence of money in politics deepens...bombs explode in crowded streets...small wars proliferate far from our shores...a dizzying array of inventions speeds the pace of daily life. These unnervingly familiar headlines serve as the backdrop for Doris Kearns Goodwin's highly anticipated The Bully Pulpit -a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air. The story is told through the intense friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft-a close relationship that strengthens both men before it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country's history. The Bully Pulpit is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources. The muckrakers are portrayed through the greatest group of journalists ever assembled at one magazine-Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White-teamed under the mercurial genius of publisher S. S. McClure. Goodwin's narrative is founded upon a wealth of primary materials. The correspondence of more than four hundred letters between Roosevelt and Taft begins in their early thirties and ends only months before Roosevelt's death. Edith Roosevelt and Nellie Taft kept diaries. The muckrakers wrote hundreds of letters to one another, kept journals, and wrote their memoirs. The letters of Captain Archie Butt, who served as a personal aide to both Roosevelt and Taft, provide an intimate view of both men. The Bully Pulpit , like Goodwin's brilliant chronicles of the Civil War and World War II, exquisitely demonstrates her distinctive ability to combine scholarly rigor with accessibility. It is a major work of history-an examination of leadership in a rare moment of activism and reform that brought the country closer to its founding ideals.





Doris Kearns Goodwin was born in Brooklyn, New York on January 4, 1943. She received a bachelor of arts degree from Colby College in 1964 and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University in 1968. She taught at Harvard University and worked as an assistant to President Lyndon Johnson during his last year in the White House. She has written numerous books including The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, Wait Till Next Year, and The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. She has received numerous awards including Pulitzer Prize in history, the Harold Washington Literary Award, the Ambassador Book Award for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, and the Lincoln Prize and the Book Prize for American History for Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. (Bowker Author Biography)





With best sellers on FDR (No Ordinary Time) and Lincoln (Team of Rivals), Pulitzer Prize winner Goodwin tackles the period between those subjects, when President Theodore Roosevelt (TR) and his successor William Howard Taft, with a new breed of investigative reporter, took on greedy industrialists and corrupt politicians. Goodwin excels in capturing the essences of TR and Taft as well as the opposing personalities of their wives. Her main figures are presented objectively and sympathetically. Ironically, as Goodwin clearly shows, the teddy bear should have been named after Taft-for his personality-rather than after TR. Taft was heavily dependent on his wife Nellie's political acumen. Until she had a stroke, Nellie was almost as active as Eleanor Roosevelt was to be. The best part of this volume is the author's presentation of the muckrakers (investigative reporters), whose research TR, in contrast to Taft, was willing to use. Just as TR assembled a talented political team in his administration, Sam McClure of McClure's magazine assembled Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, Ray Baker, and William Allen White. -McClure's "golden age" muckraker empire soon crashed as a result of his manic depression, just as TR's political career ended prematurely. VERDICT It's a long book, but it marks Goodwin's page-turner trifecta on the evolution of the modern presidency. Both presidential buffs and scholars will discover new aspects of the progressive era here. Highly recommended.-William D. -Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.





Bestselling author Goodwin (Team of Rivals) continues her presidential coverage in her latest history book, this time constructing a narrative around the friendship of two very different Presidents, Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. The complex relationship and soured political camaraderie between Roosevelt and Taft is beautifully played out over the course of the book in quotes and letters. When they angrily part ways it has ramifications for them and the country, eventually leading to Woodrow Wilson's election. Though the book is primarily concerned with the intervening private lives of two politicians, a prominent second narrative emerges as Goodwin links both presidents' fortunes to the rise of ¿muckraking' journalism, specifically the magazine McClure's and its influence over political and social discussion. Women figure largely in both narratives. In addition to journalist Ida Tarbell, both wives, Nellie Taft and Edith Roosevelt appear to have shaped history in their own ways. By shining a light on a little-discussed President and a much-discussed one, Goodwin manages to make history very much alive and relevant. Better yet-the party politics are explicitly modern. Agent: Amanda "Binky" Urban, ICM. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.





*Starred Review* In this hyperpartisan era, it is well to remember that a belief in an activist federal government that promoted both social and economic progress crossed party lines, as it did during the Progressive movement of the early twentieth century. Goodwin, the acclaimed historian, repeatedly emphasizes that fact in her massive and masterful study of the friendship, and then the enmity, of two presidents who played major roles in that movement. Roosevelt, unsurprisingly, is portrayed by Goodwin as egotistical, bombastic, and determined to take on powerful special interests. He saw his secretary of war, Taft, as a friend and disciple. When Taft, as president, seemed to abandon the path of reform, Roosevelt saw it as both a political and a personal betrayal. Taft, sadly remembered by many as our fattest president, receives nuanced, sympathetic, but not particularly favorable treatment here. But this is also an examination of some of the great journalists who exposed societal ills and promoted the reforms that aimed to address them. Many of these muckrakers, including Ida Tarbell and Lincoln Steffens, worked for McClure's magazine. This is a superb re-creation of a period when many politicians, journalists, and citizens of differing political affiliations viewed government as a force for public good. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This author's new book has been greatly anticipated; much prepublication discussion has occurred; and reader interest will be intense.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2010 Booklist






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