Theodore Roosevelt and the Making of American Leadership by Jon Knokey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A masterful book about the building blocks that made Teddy Roosevelt into the leader he was, Jon Knokey's biography tells a rich and compelling story by focusing on his upbringing and rise to power.
Roosevelt had a genius for empathy, with a specialty for drawing together people from disparate backgrounds and points of view toward common ground. A great uniter, Roosevelt's leadership helped heal a divided nation that still bristled with resentment and mistrust in the decades after the Civil War.
Of his countless endearing qualities, Roosevelt's most appealing and convincing trait was the willingness to get his own hands dirty, sacrificing his comfort to prove his work ethic and commitment to others.
With a pirate's mentality, Roosevelt spurned the establishment and disrupted embedded processes. In accomplishing his goals, he established an end vision, then worked ferociously to destroy anything that stood between him and his desire.
In taking on the Audible edition, narrator Brian Holsopple adds a vigor and passion to Roosevelt's words and deeds that captured the essence of Teddy himself.
Bulging with exhaustive research melded with an easygoing storyteller's momentum, Knokey's writing is an exquisite match for Roosevelt's bravado and manner. His respect and admiration of Roosevelt's philosophy and life force seep through in his writing, but there's also enough distance for occasional astute criticism.
Teddy Roosevelt is clearly Knokey's favorite president, and it's nearly impossible to get through is book without Roosevelt becoming your favorite as well.
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