Teddy Roosevelt had one of the most colorful lives in the American history, but few have deeply explored his final years. Historian David Pietrusza
does just that in TR's Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy
(Lyons Press, 2018), taking us through a period in which Roosevelt exhorts an America prone to isolationism to join the war against Germany, only for the war to take the life of one of his sons. Pietrusza tracks how Roosevelt’s alters America’s political history, abandoning his “Bull Moose” party and re-uniting the Republicans in hopes of strengthening American foreign policy. And the author chronicles Roosevelt’s heartbreak, unable to die a glorious death on the battlefield himself, but bereaved to see his son die from a policy he advocated. Pietrusza also offers evidence of a controversial theory: that a depressed Roosevelt ultimately took his own life with an overdose of morphine.
Bill Scher is a Contributing Editor for POLITICO Magazine. He has provided political commentary on CNN, NPR and MSNBC. He has been published in
The New York Times, The New Republic, and
The New York Daily News among other publications. He is author of
Wait! Don’t Move to Canada, published by Rodale in 2006.