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Mornings on Horseback

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Mornings on Horseback Cover

 

 

Reading Group Guide

Mornings on Horseback

Reader's Group Guide

1. In 1851, Theodore was sent on a Grand Tour. With a jealous sentiment, Robert critiqued Theodore's pattern of experiences saying, "it [traveling] is not to see scenery, or places," but rather to see and have conversations with men of other cultures to see their points of view. Do you agree with this statement? How do most Americans travel and why? What is your goal when you travel? What would you want your family to take from an experience over seas?

2. In exploring the effect of asthma over Teedie's life and the Roosevelt family, McCullough writes, "For a child as acutely sensitive and intelligent as he, the impact of asthma could not have been anything but profound, affecting personality, outlook self-regard, the whole course of his young life, in marked fashion...But he knows also that his particular abnormality lends a kind of power." What power is McCullough speaking of? How does Teedie's illness positively affect his life, interests, and ultimate passions and goals? Explain.

3. Teedie was encouraged by his father to build up his body as a way of overcoming his illness. His father says, "Theodore you have the mind, but you have not the body, and without the help of the body the mind cannot go as far as it should...you must make your body." Do you think this was the correct approach in dealing with Teedie's asthma? What approach would you use in dealing with an asthmatic child? Would you be overprotective, or would you encourage self-sufficiency? Explain.

4. During the Depression, business for the Roosevelts was stagnant and competition was high. As opposed to putting more effort into import trade, the Roosevelt brothers; Theodore and James Alfred became financers. When Alexander Graham Bell proposed his newly invented telephone, Theodore did not believe it had any real future outside of toys. Explain how Roosevelt could have arrived at this decision. In you r lifetime, can you think of new technologies that you wished you had invested in? Discuss.

5. In 1869, Charles W. Eliot was named president of Harvard University. He believed, "to be educated in science was to be educated in the future," and that "science was the firm foundation for man's faith in himself and in the present infinite creator." The Harvard administration's commitment to excellence in Science under Eliot aligned well with Teedie's interests. For a young man so well traveled, when did Teedie gain most from his Harvard education?

6. Theodore, Jr. courted Alice for quite a while before she reluctantly surrendered to his affection. Although, he had many girlfriends and admirers Alice was exceptionally beautiful to him. After marriage, their relationship was as loving and intense as his father and mother. Compare Theodore, Jr. and Alice's relationship with Theodore, Sr. and Mittie. Of Alice's characteristics which of those did Teedie fall most for? In Teedie's upbringing, what did he learn about what's most important in a wife?

7. On a tiger hunt south of Hyderabad in India, Teedie shoots and kills one of the largest tigers ever seen in that area. To his father Teedie writes, "it is the life, old man. Our kind. The glorious freedom, the greatest excitement... How everything here would have pleased your fondness for the unusual and the dangerous." What does Teedie imply by "our kind"? If you were a Roosevelt, how would you live? What would be the most important aspect of your lifestyle?

8. As a member of the State Assembly at the age of twenty-three, Theodore, Jr. proved to be an irreverent spirit in politics. After meeting Samuel Gompers and learning of the working conditions of cigar makers, Theodore supported the Cigar Makers Bill while simultaneously stepping on the toes of the notorious Jay Gould. What was Theodore's mistake in taking on Gould? How did he inadvertently fashion his political image? How was his polarized sense of right and wrong constructed by his upbringing? Was he wrong in his judgment of "the wealthy criminal class"?

9. Theodore often felt jaded about law as a profession, saying lawyers do not serve justice, they serve their clients; often equating a lawyers career with moneymaking and not with public service. If Theodore had similar sentiments about law, what did he say about politics, especially since he had a similar regard for the political profession? What was Theodore's ultimate goal in politics?

10. After the sudden deaths of Mittie and Alice, Theodore threw himself into his work as a way of compensating for his grief. In Alice's eulogy, he writes, "When my heart's dearest died, the light went out from my life for ever." Explain how he handled this sudden turn of events. How has his experience as an asthmatic prepared him for such fate?

11. Theodore's fascination with The Bad Lands and the romanticized West seemed the perfect antidote for his broken heart. What was it about the West that intrigued him and helped him to deal with life as a widow?

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743217385
Introduction:
McCullough, David
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Introduction by:
McCullough, David
Introduction:
McCullough, David
Author:
McCullough, David
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Presidents -- United States.
Subject:
Roosevelt, Theodore - Childhood and youth
Subject:
Biography-Presidents and Heads of State
Subject:
Teddy Roosevelt, young Theodore Roosevelt, Roosevelt childhood, asthma, asthmatic, asthma attacks, Mittie Bulloch Roosevelt, Badlands, Roosevelt family, Roosevelt first love, Anna Roosevelt, Corrine Roosevelt, Eliot Roosevelt, Roosevelt family, River of D
Subject:
Teddy Roosevelt, young Theodore Roosevelt, Roosevelt childhood, asthma, asthmatic, asthma attacks, Mittie Bulloch Roosevelt, Badlands, Roosevelt family, Roosevelt first love, Anna Roosevelt, Corrine Roosevelt, Eliot Roosevelt, Roosevelt family, River of D
Subject:
Teddy Roosevelt, young Theodore Roosevelt, Roosevelt childhood, asthma, asthmatic, asthma attacks, Mittie Bulloch Roosevelt, Badlands, Roosevelt family, Roosevelt first love, Anna Roosevelt, Corrine Roosevelt, Eliot Roosevelt, Roosevelt family, River of D
Edition Description:
Classic Edition
Abridged:
Y
Series Volume:
no. 41
Publication Date:
20010631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Rough front; insert - 32 bandamp;w photo
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 in 24.99 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » US History » Presidents » Roosevelt, Theodore

Mornings on Horseback New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$30.00 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Simon & Schuster Books - English 9780743217385 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A collection of bestselling and award-winning books from our first seventy-five years. These titles are handsomely redesigned to combine original artwork with contemporary packaging. Many editions feature new introductions by the authors.
"Synopsis" by , The National Book Awardand#8211;winning biography that tells the story of how young Teddy Roosevelt transformed himself from a sickly boy into the vigorous man who would become a war hero and ultimately president of the United States, told by master historian David McCullough.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Iandgt;Mornings on Horsebackandlt;/Iandgt; is the brilliant biography of the young Theodore Roosevelt. Hailed as and#8220;a masterpieceand#8221; (John A. Gable, andlt;Iandgt;Newsday),andlt;/Iandgt; it is the winner of the andlt;Iandgt;Los Angeles Timesandlt;/Iandgt; 1981 Book Prize for Biography and the National Book Award for Biography. Written by David McCullough, the author of andlt;Iandgt;Truman,andlt;/Iandgt; this is the story of a remarkable little boy, seriously handicapped by recurrent and almost fatal asthma attacks, and his struggle to manhood: an amazing metamorphosis seen in the context of the very uncommon household in which he was raised. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;The father is the first Theodore Roosevelt, a figure of unbounded energy, enormously attractive and selfless, a god in the eyes of his small, frail namesake. The mother, Mittie Bulloch Roosevelt, is a Southerner and a 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, TRand#8217;s first love. All are brought to life to make and#8220;a beautifully told story, filled with fresh detailand#8221; (andlt;Iandgt;The New York Times Book Reviewandlt;/Iandgt;).andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;A book to be read on many levels, it is at once an enthralling story, a brilliant social history and a work of important scholarship which does away with several old myths and breaks entirely new ground. It is a book about life intensely lived, about family love and loyalty, about grief and courage, about and#8220;blessedand#8221; mornings on horseback beneath the wide blue skies of the Badlands.
"Synopsis" by ,

Winner of the 1982 National Book Award for Biography, Mornings on Horseback 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 — reveals the inner man through his battle against dreadful odds.

Like David McCullough's The Great Bridge, also set in New York, this is at once an enthralling story, with all the elements of a great novel, and a penetrating character study. It is brilliant social history and a work of important scholarship, which does away with several old myths and breaks entirely new ground. For the first time, for example, Roosevelt's asthma is examined closely, drawing on information gleaned from private Roosevelt family papers and in light of present-day knowledge of the disease and its psychosomatic aspects.

At heart it is a book about life intensely lived...about family love and family loyalty...about courtship and childbirth and death, fathers and sons...about winter on the Nile in the grand manner and Harvard College...about gutter politics in washrooms and the tumultuous Republican Convention of 1884...about grizzly bears, grief and courage, and "blessed" mornings on horseback at Oyster Bay or beneath the limitless skies of the Badlands. "Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough," Roosevelt once wrote. It is the key to his life and to much that is so memorable in this magnificent book.

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