Book Review: The Old Lion: A Novel of Theodore Roosevelt by Jeff Shaara

May 9, 2023

About:

The Old Lion: A Novel of Theodore Roosevelt by Jeff Shaara traces the life of America’s 26th President. Mr. Shaara is a best-selling, award-winning author known for his historical-fiction series about the American Civil War.

  • 480 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : St. Martin’s Press
  • Language ‏ : English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : 1250279941

Book Review: The Old Lion: A Novel of Theodore Roosevelt by Jeff Shaara
My rat­ing for The Old Lion5
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Thoughts:

I found myself, over the years, reading a lot about Teddy Roosevelt. We even stopped at his house, Sagamore Hill, in Oyster Bay NY for a visit. Unlike several other Presidents’ homes we visited, this one is a “man’s home” with very few, if any, feminine touches.

Previously, I read the famous trilogy by Edmund Morris, so I was familiar with many of the events in the The Old Lion, including some of the anecdotes. These anecdotes, to me, really make history come alive and I’m glad Jeff Shaara included them.

The author doesn’t fall into the trap many historians fall into, either loving or hating their subject. I like to think that this book really captured the persona of Teddy Roosevelt, his manners, speech, and vulnerabilities.

Mr. Roosevelet led an exciting, full life, which even a three volume biography found it somewhat difficult to encompass. What this books accomplished is to capture the essence of the personality of Teddy Roosevelt. Sometimes his behavior is praiseworthy, other times it was cringe-worthy – but it was always fascinating.

Mr. Shaara never puts himself into the book. Instead, he uses chapters where Roosevelt is talking to his biographer Hermann Hagedorn, who is known for promoting the legacy and ideals of the President. This tool works very well, as it gives readers enough background, both historically and politically, to enjoy the story as told from the point of view of Roosevelt.

I enjoyed reading about the human side of this larger-than-life figure, with exciting narrative and a dash of history for (a full) good measure. To be honest, I didn’t expect Mr. Shaara to pull this off, and honestly thought this was going to be a series.

Buy The Old Lion from Amazon.com*
More Books by Jeff Shaara*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

 

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The Old Lion: A Novel of Theodore Roosevelt by Jeff Shara
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Wrap Up

The Old Lion: A Novel of Theodore Roosevelt by Jeff Shara

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