Winner of the 1982 National Book Award for Biography, Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt
is the brilliant biography of the young Theodore Roosevelt. Hailed as a masterpiece by Newsday, it also won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography. Now with a new introduction by the author, Mornings on Horseback is reprinted as a Simon & Schuster Classic Edition.
Mornings on Horseback is about the world of the young Theodore Roosevelt. It is the story of a remarkable little boy, seriously handicapped by recurrent and nearly fatal attacks of asthma, and his struggle to manhood: an amazing metamorphosis seen in the context of the very uncommon household (and rarefied social world) in which he was raised.
His father is the first Theodore Roosevelt, "Greatheart," a figure of unbounded energy, enormously attractive and selfless, a god in the eyes of his small, frail namesake. His mother, Mittie Bulloch Roosevelt, is a Southerner and celebrated beauty, but also considerably more, which the book makes clear as never before. There are sisters Anna and Corinne, brother Elliott (who becomes the father of Eleanor Roosevelt), and the lovely, tragic Alice Lee, Teddy Roosevelt's first love. And while such disparate figures as Abraham Lincoln, Mrs. John Jacob Astor
, and Senator Roscoe Conkling
play a part, it is this diverse and intensely human assemblage of Roosevelts, all brought to vivid life, which gives the book its remarkable power.
The book spans seventeen years � from 1869 when little "Teedie" is ten, to 1886 when, as a hardened "real life cowboy," he returns from the West to pick up the pieces of a shattered life and begin anew, a grown man, whole in body and spirit. The story does for Teddy Roosevelt what Sunrise at Campobello did for FDR and reveals the inner man through his battle against dreadful odds.
Theodore Roosevelt was a progressive political leader, conservationist, war hero and adventurer. John Jacob Astor, the first of many men to bear the name, made a fortune in the fur trade and expanded it vastly with real estate holdings in Manhattan.