Edmund Morris is best renowned as a biographies’ writer; especially for writing the biographies of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, the United States’ Presidents. He acquired his early tutoring in Kenya. Afterwards, he went to South Africa to attend the Rhodes University. Later, he moved to London and became an advertising copywriter. In 1968, he migrated to the USA. "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” is a classic non-fiction historical account of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris and stands out as one of the best biographies of the contemporary times. In 1980, the mentioned biography won the Pulitzer Prize and was also given the National Book Award. Edmund Morris has been also involved in writing on subjects like arts, and travel etc. In addition, his works have been published in famous papers and magazines including The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine etc.
When “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” is keenly read and observed, the readers can find a double delight while going through it. This is because he has made many positive and convincing points regarding the aptitude and character of President Roosevelt. First, he has successfully presented an exceptionally comprehensive and careful research with a pleasant analysis and interpretation. Morris has made the life of Roosevelt so simple to understand that it feels like it’s a fiction. The book doesn’t read like a biography but an interesting novel in which Morris has documented the life events of the great American President by giving details from existing documentations.
The purpose and point of Edmund Morris in writing this biography is to introduce and aware the reader with the personal and professional life of the twenty-sixth America President. He has demonstrated how the great leader lived a difficult life. Second, he wants to make his readers realize the courageous and fearless character of Theodore Roosevelt as he overcame severe health issues. Morris wants the readers to act in the same way as Roosevelt as he defeated every kind of difficulty with bravery. He emphasizes on the point repeatedly that Theodore Roosevelt was undoubtedly the best individual who possessed enough personal and professional traits to get qualified for being the President of the American people. He has demonstrated the fact that Roosevelt was a man of unique intellect, wisdom and strong character (Morris, 2010). Morris has been successful in making his point and opinions clear to the reader. He has crystal clearly presented Roosevelt as an inspiration to people of every age. It is amazing how Morris has recreated the life of Morris by providing genuine ad reliable details to his readers about the rising of Roosevelt as the American President.
The best thing about this non-fiction historical narrative is that Morris has refrained from giving his own perceptions about Theodore Roosevelt a voice. Instead, he has used valid documentations that speak about Roosevelt. It is extremely important to mention here that Morris has not recited the facts baldly but has given all the details (big and small) using the private journals of the President. He also took help from people who knew Roosevelt closely or had been with him in the White House as colleagues. As a consequence, the valid documents have helped the non-fiction to sound like fiction as it gives access inside the heart and mind of Theodore Roosevelt. It can be said that "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" allows the reader to have a personal look into Teddy’s life as the information is not based on personal opinions of Morris but is gathered from public accounts, personal diaries and connections.
Morris has made use of real life events/experiences in telling the story of Roosevelt’s overwhelming ascend to power. It won’t be incorrect to state that this is a seven-dimensional biography of an individual who was an environmentalist, an author, a true lover, a huntsman, a ranchman, a warrior, and an elected official. These seven men merged altogether and became the youngest President of the United States of America at the age of 42 (Morris, 2010). Morris has made his point rather plainly that Roosevelt was one of the rarest political and historical figures whose charisma overwhelmed the popular imagination.
The incredible thing about this non-fiction is that it tells about Roosevelt in an extravagant way ignoring nothing. The fate of Roosevelt was a topsy-turvy one and Morris has narrated it in the simplest yet interesting manner. He has not made Roosevelt’s life an amalgamation of so surprising in its turns of fate, that previous biographers have treated it as a series of random and chaotic episodes like other biographers. To cut a long story short, “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” is perhaps the only complete study of Roosevelt’s life before becoming the President of the USA. His teen years reflected his capability and aptitude to be a great man in later years; not just as a leader of his people but as a man of strong character. Although, Morris has not made use of illustrations and visual aids in describing Roosevelt’s pre-presidential life; he has selected great words to praise Roosevelt.
Morris, E. (2010).The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Random House. (Original work published 1979)