The Strenuous Life by Theodore Roosevelt Download (read online) free eBook (PDF ePub Kindle)

The Strenuous Life

A powerful collection of writings by Theodore Roosevelt, giving his vision of how both personal and national life can be lived to the best advantage. He writes, “I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who

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    Mark

    Jan 04, 2014

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    review of another edition

    Theodore Roosevelt needs no introduction. However, much of his writings do. This collection of essays, including the Strenuous Life, is a good starting point for getting to know the Roosevelt that stated: “speak softly and carry a big stick”. His essays here do not speak so softly, but they do carry a big stick. I wish that I could say that I enjoyed them, but the essays primarily extol military might, “clean and healthy lives”, righteousness and duty to country.

    While these concepts are not in

    While these concepts are not in themselves bad, Roosevelt’s insistence upon making them the bulwark of all that is good and non-questionable, without defining concisely defining exactly what they are antiquates the writings. That being said, there are memorable moments in the collection; the most famous being in the Strenuous Life concerning the “doctrine of ignoble ease”. This essay is the backbone of the collection, but there are moments in some of that latter essays as well. In “Civic Helpfulness”, Roosevelt writes: “…the prime worth of a creed is to be gaged by the standard of conduct it exacts among its followers.” Always the practical man, in “Promise and Performance” Roosevelt writes, “A man is worthless unless he has in him a lofty devotion to an ideal, and his worthless also unless he strives to realize this ideal by practical methods.” Other essays include the place of sports and the importance of military leaders (his three top being Washington, Lincoln, and Grant).

    While there is no doubt that T. Roosevelt was a great man in his own time…he was a great man in his own time, and this collections mirrors that. There is much to be gleaned here, but the nuggets of truth that Roosevelt is so well known for are just that: nuggets. The majority of the writings (and ideas in my opinion) are dated and mirror a man that lived in a time when indoctrination was considered patriotic, and intolerance the norm.

    The collection is certainly worth the time to read, for no other reason than historical. The writing style is dated, but I think in a good way: it reminds us that people once took the time to learn to write and portray ideas thoroughly and concisely rather than clumsily on a cellphone with one’s thumbs even if some of those ideas are a bit pious.
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