Theodore Roosevelt in the Badlands
A Young Politician's Quest for Recovery in the American West
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On February 12, 1884--when Roosevelt was building a career as New
York State's most promising young politician--his wife gave birth to
their first child, Alice. Two days later, both his wife and his mother
died in the same house on Valentine's Day. Grief stricken--and driven by
doubts about his career after failed attempts as a reformer fighting
political corruption--Roosevelt left Alice in his sister's care and went
to live on a Badlands ranch he had bought a year earlier. He spent much
of the next three years working alongside his ranch managers and hired
hands. He grew to love and respect frontier life and to find in the West
both physical health and emotional stamina.
transformation from a young, Harvard-educated New York politician to a
working rancher in the mid to late 1880s coincided with the end of the
Old West, a turning point in the cattle industry, and major changes in
America's attitudes toward wildlife and wild places. Drawing on
Roosevelt's own accounts and on diverse archives, Roger Di Silvestro
tells the exciting story of how Roosevelt's spirit and political
dynamism were forged during roundups, bronco busting, fist fights,
grizzly bear hunts, and encounters with horse thieves, hostile Indians,
and vigilante justice. In the dramatic life of Theodore Roosevelt, few
adventures exceed those that he found in the Badlands.
- Bloomsbury Publishing, March 2011
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