The Lion's Pride: Theodore Roosevelt and His Family in Peace and War
By Edward J. Renehan Jr.
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA | 320 pages | 1999-12-09 | ISBN: 0195134249 | PDF | 17.4 MB
In The Lion's Pride, Edward J. Renehan, Jr. vividly portrays the grand idealism, heroic bravery, and reckless abandon that Theodore Roosevelt both embodied and bequeathed to his children and the tragic fulfillment of that legacy on the battlefields of World War I.
Drawing upon a wealth of previously unavailable materials, including letters and unpublished memoirs, The Lion's Pride takes us inside what is surely the most extraordinary family ever to occupy the White House. Theodore Roosevelt believed deeply that those who had been blessed with wealth, influence, and education were duty bound to lead, even perhaps especially if it meant risking their lives to preserve the ideals of democratic civilization. Teddy put his principles, and his life, to the test in Spanish American war, and raised his children to believe they could do no less. When America finally entered the "European conflict" in 1917, all four of his sons eagerly enlisted and used their influence not to avoid the front lines but to get there as quickly as possible. Their heroism in France and the Middle East matched their father's at San Juan Hill. All performed with selfless some said heedless courage: Two of the boys, Archie and Ted, Jr., were seriously wounded, and Quentin, the youngest, was killed in a dogfight with seven German planes. Thus, the war that Teddy had lobbied for so furiously brought home a grief that broke his heart. He was buried a few months after his youngest child.
Filled with the voices of the entire Roosevelt family, The Lion's Pride gives us the most intimate and moving portrait ever published of the fierce bond between Teddy Roosevelt and his remarkable children.
When Colonel Theodore Roosevelt led his Rough Riders up the San Juan Ridge in 1898, it was one of the most daring exploits of the Spanish-American War. Colleagues would later report that, seemingly oblivious to the threat of death, Roosevelt "was just reveling in victory and gore," collecting spent cartridges as souvenirs for his four sons while shells exploded around him. His martial vigor served as a model to those sons, one that they took to heart, but their own experiences of war were far removed from TR's swashbuckling adventure.
At the end of World War I, the youngest Roosevelt son--Quentin--was dead, shot down in the skies over France. Theodore Jr. (Ted) and Archie both sustained serious injuries, and Archie suffered from bouts of serious depression many times in the years afterwards. Yet they both served, along with their brother, Kermit, in World War II as well. At 57, Ted was the oldest American participant in the Normandy invasion; Archie became the only U.S. soldier ever to be classified as 100% disabled twice in his career.
The Lion's Pride tells all their stories with thoroughness and graceful simplicity. Although military historians will surely appreciate its combat narratives, it is at heart a family saga, a tale with profound emotional resonance for parents and children alike.
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