His Father's Son
The Life of General Ted Roosevelt, Jr.
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in BiographyNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Military HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network January 18, 2017 Mark Klobas
Tim Brady’s book His Father’s Son: The Life of General Ted Roosevelt, Jr. (NAL, 2017) is not just the biography of the eldest son and namesake of America’s 26th president, but an account of a life that was adventurous and consequential in its own right. Coming of age in the years in which his Theodore Roosevelt served as president, Ted at times struggled to measure up to the daunting example set by his dynamic father. While often emulating his father’s path, Ted nonetheless sought to be judged on his own achievements, and distinguished himself in both business and in command during the First World War. To many Ted was on his way to becoming the second Roosevelt to occupy the White House, yet his electoral career came to a premature end in 1924 with his loss to Al Smith in the race for the governorship of New York a loss which paved the way for his subsequent political eclipse by his distant cousin, Franklin. Yet as Brady demonstrates, the growing animosity between the two branches of the family did nothing to dim Ted’s commitment to serve his country in its hour of greatest need, and it was while in uniform as a United States Army general in France that his life came to its tragically early end.