Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography (book review)

Without a doubt, Theodore Roosevelt is one of my all-time favorite US Presidents. Not only for the policies he enacted, but for the large life he led—frontiersman, commissioner of police, governor, Vice President, President, explorer, Nobel Peace Prize laureate. This man did it all, and wrote about it in a very straightforward style in Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography. 

In telling his life’s story, Theodore Roosevelt (TR) compiles each chapter around a “role” in his life. For instance, a chapter on his childhood, one on his time in the American frontier, one on his work as police commissioner in New York City, and so forth. Not only does he tell what he did, but he explains why he did it and the lessons he learned along the way. 

Other people played important roles in his life, and TR was quick to recognize competent and loyal people, make them his friends for life, and then put them in positions where they could do the most good for the most people. I have a hunch that this was started by the way his father raised him. Very early in the book, TR writes about his father—

“My father, Theodore Roosevelt, was the best man I ever knew. He combined strength and courage with gentleness, tenderness, and great unselfishness. He would not tolerate in us children selfishness or cruelty, idleness, cowardice, or untruthfulness. As we grew older he made us understand that the same standard of clean living was demanded for the boys as for the girls; that what was wrong in a woman could not be right in a man. … I never knew anyone who got greater joy out of living than did my father, or anyone who more whole-heartedly performed every duty.” 

TR truly lived an oversized life and left an indelible stamp on the American landscape that can still be seen and felt today. This is truly an enjoyable book to read! 

4 Quotes From “41”

41I truly enjoyed the unique way George W. Bush (US president #43) told the story of his Dad’s life (George H.W. Bush was president #41). It was so refreshing to see the relationship this father and son have with each other. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes that caught my eye.

“Listen to your conscience. Don’t be afraid not to join the mob—if you feel inside it’s wrong. Don’t confuse being ‘soft’ with seeing the other guy’s point of view. … Avoid self-righteously turning on a friend, but have your friendship mean enough that you would be willing to share with your friend your judgment. Don’t assign away your judgment to achieve power.” —George H.W. Bush, in a letter to his sons during the Watergate scandal 

“America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle.” —George H.W. Bush, in his inauguration speech

“President Bush was a man who entered the political arena and left with his integrity intact. President Bush was a leader who stared tyranny in the face and never blinked. George Bush was a great president of the United States of America, because he is first and foremost a great man—a man who through it all knew exactly what is most important in life: faith and family. Through four years of world crises and enormous demands on his time, a phone call from me or one of my brothers and sister never went unanswered. The world knows George Bush as a master of personal diplomacy. We know George Bush as the worlds best dad.” —George W. Bush, at the opening of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library

“At some point both of you may want to say, ‘Well, I don’t agree with my Dad on that point’ or ‘Frankly I think Dad was wrong on that.’ Do it. Chart your own course, not just on the issues but on defining yourselves. No one will ever question your love of family—your devotion to your parents.” —George H. W. Bush, in a 1998 letter to Jeb and George, who were both running for governor in their states

41 (book review)

41It’s only happened twice in American history: A father and son both serving as President. The first was John Adams and John Quincy Adams, then George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. But only once has the son written a memoir about his father, and that is 41: A Portrait Of My Father.

In the book’s preface, President George W. Bush writes, “Over the years, I suspect there will be many books analyzing George Herbert Walker Bush, the man and his presidency. Some of those works may be objective. This one is not. This book is a love story—a personal portrait of the extraordinary man who I am blessed to call my dad.” What a perfect description of this book, for indeed it is a love story, and a very moving one.

President Bush (the 43rd President) does an amazing job showing the “stuff” that went into making President Bush (the 41st President) the man that he is. It also helps us to then understand the decisions that 41 made throughout his extensive political career. I also appreciated reading how 43 used his personal, eye-witness experience with his Dad as material for his presidential decision-making.

This was a unique way to write a biography, and I found it very engaging and heartwarming. A truly great read!

Links & Quotes

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“The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.” —C.S. Lewis

My thankful lips shall loud proclaim the wonders of Thy praise,
And spread the savor of Thy Name where’er I spend my days. —Isaac Watts

“A sure sign of spiritual growth is that you take every problem and crisis immediately to Jesus. You have learned that you have a place to go.” —David Wilkerson“If you want to walk as Jesus walked, you can’t allow your human passions to be inflamed by headlines. Christ died for every lost soul on this earth, including abortion doctors, murderers, rapists, child molesters.” —David Wilkerson

Proud of our State Governor Rick Snyder for signing the bill that protects our freedom of religion.

Another man I have always admired is Ronald Reagan. Yesterday was the anniversary of his powerful speech at the Berlin Wall. The Daily Signal has some pictures from that memorable day, and here is the video of President Reagan’s words—

Links & Quotes

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“In this version of the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2-4) Jesus says, ‘When you pray say’ … and then in verse 4 He includes this petition, ‘and forgive us our sins.’ So, if you connect the beginning of the prayer with the middle, what He says is, ‘Whenever you pray say … forgive us our sins.’ I take this to mean that this should be as much a part of all our praying as ‘Hallowed be Thy name.’ Which means that Jesus assumes that we need to seek forgiveness virtually every time we pray. In other words, we are always sinners. … It doesn’t matter how obedient we have been before we pray. We always come to the Lord as sinners—all of us. And God does not turn away the prayers of sinners when they pray like this.” —John Piper

“What if I say that it is not unjust but according to law that when a woman gets into debt her husband should bear it? And with the church of God sinning, it was but right that her Husband, who had espoused her unto Himself, should become the debtor on her behalf. The Lord Jesus stood in the relationship of a married Husband unto His church, and it was not, therefore, a strange thing that He should bear her burdens.” —Charles Spurgeon

“We can have confidence in our ability, through reason, to help our unbelieving friends consider the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. We know this because God Himself is reasonable, and we believe He commends the use of reason in making Himself and His will known to men.” —T.M. Moore

“Listen to your conscience. Don’t be afraid not to join the mob—if you feel inside it’s wrong. Don’t confuse being ‘soft’ with seeing the other guy’s point of view. … Avoid self-righteously turning on a friend, but have your friendship mean enough that you would be willing to share with your friend your judgment. Don’t assign away your judgment to achieve power.” —George H.W. Bush, in a letter to his sons during the Watergate scandal

Some interesting lessons in Fast Company’s list of the 50 most well-liked CEOs in the United States.

“satan has tripped up many Christians by convincing them they’ve lost something in the Lord.” But David Wilkerson urges us to forget those things!

If you are praying for one of your loved ones to accept Jesus as their Savior, Tim Dilena has an encouraging word for you in The Amazing Now Becomes More Amazing.

[VIDEO] Conrad Mbewe shows how the so-called prosperity gospel isn’t honest with the entirety of Scripture—

Links & Quotes

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“Never live on memories. Do not remember in your testimony what you once were; let the Word of God be always living and active in you, and give the best you have every time and all the time.” —Oswald Chambers

“A man may lose the good things of this life against his will; but if he loses the eternal blessings, he does so with his own consent.” —Augustine

GOOD NEWS: Abortions have dropped 12% across the country.

Today would have been Smith Wigglesworth’s 156th birthday. Relevant Magazine has a list of some of his quotes. If you would like to read some of the quotes I have posted from Wigglesworth’s books, click here or here.

Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln are two of my favorite historical leaders. Here’s a great post: Churchill, Lincoln And The Fragility Of Freedom.

Ronald Reagan is another one of my favorites. Check out 4 Liberal Myths About Ronald Reagan Debunked.

D-Day Prayer

Franklin D. Roosevelt at prayerOn the evening of June 6, 1944, the Allied troops were already well into their D-Day landing in Europe. That evening President Franklin D. Roosevelt took to the radio airwaves to offer up this prayer—

Almighty God,

   Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. 

   Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

   They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

   They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest—until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violence of war.

   For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good-will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

   Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy Kingdom….

   With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace—a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

   Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen. —Franklin D. Roosevelt, on D-Day evening (June 6, 1944)

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