Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Naturalist

I live in Washington, DC and am ashamed to admit I do not know the history as well as I would like to. In order to work on that, I chose this book about Teddy Roosevelt, thinking it would give me an insight into his life as President. While it does mention that part of his life, this book focuses on one of Roosevelt's biggest passions - the natural world. He loved studying it, choosing to live a life of adventure. I found this book fascinating because it did not focus on his presidency but his lifelong passion of studying the natural world around him.

I must make a disclaimer here that simply states I am from the Midwest and was not at all bothered by guns, hunting, and taxidermy. Roosevelt had a great respect for the natural world and did not just use hunting as a sport for fun. He was collecting specimen to be studied and displayed in the Smithsonian Museums in DC. This "asthmatic city slicker" loved being outside (76).

Lunde shared that Roosevelt had his share of grief when his mother and wife, Alice, died on the same day (108). He eventually ended up marrying his childhood friend, Edith Carow (155).

The Republican Party wanted to kill Roosevelt's political career and encouraged him to run as William McKinley's VP. Sadly, McKinley was assassinated, making Roosevelt President (157, 162).
"Whether the species lived on or died out, Roosevelt was empathetic that people needed to see the white rhinoceros. If they couldn't experience the animals in Africa, at least they should have the chance to see them in a museum" (247).

"To really understand Roosevelt the naturalist, we need to locate him in the naturalists' world that he knew - a world that wholeheartedly embraced guns, hunting, and taxidermy as equally important to the naturalists' craft" (255).

I received this book for WaterBrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books. I received this book for free in exchange for a review of the book.

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