Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Perilous Adventures Of The Cowboy King

This historical novel relates the life of Theodore Roosevelt, nicknamed The Cowboy King, from his childhood until he takes office as President.  Roosevelt grew up a sickly child; his hero was his father known as Braveheart, who fought for those who were poor and persecuted.  As Roosevelt grew, he incorporated many of his father's ideals.  He couldn't abide to see those who were victimized by the wealthy, those despised because they didn't have the ability to be educated and make it in the upper crust.

Roosevelt moved from occupation to occupation in his early years.  He went out West where he fought for the ranchers.  He was one of the early police commissioners in New York, where he rooted out corruption.  He was an Undersecretary of the Navy.  From there, he found the role that defined his life.  He raised a regiment of volunteers to go to Cuba and fight the Spanish overlords who ruled the natives.  This regiment was the Rough Riders, and their battle of San Juan Hill gave Roosevelt the identity he had the rest of his life.

After that war, Roosevelt soon found himself being elected as the Governor of New York, then on to be nominated and elected as the Vice President under President McKinley.  When McKinley was assassinated, Roosevelt became President and there the novel ends.

Along the way, Charyn explores Roosevelt's character.  Written in first person narrative, the reader comes to know Theodore through his words, actions and thoughts rather than through the words of others.  He is a man fiercely devoted to those he takes on.  His first wife died in childbirth, leaving him with a daughter, Alice.  His second wife, a childhood friend, gave him five more children.  He was protective of his brood.  But he also had a second family; those men who served with him in Cuba.  He spent the rest of his life tied to each and every Rough Rider; helping them whenever he could as they readjusted to civilian life.  This book is recommended for readers of historical fiction.

1 comment:

The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson said...

Jerome Charyn and I (I'm his partner) traveled to DC today for tomorrow's reading at the famous Politics & Prose bookstore, but now that we're in the hotel, we have time to check in on your insightful review - happy and very grateful that you read and recommended Jerome's TR novel. We hope you will consider posting on Goodreads and other sites so that those who revere our nation's greatest peacetime president will find their way to this novel, as we found our way to Booksie's Blog. -- Lenore Riegel