Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin

According to Wikipedia, "A bully pulpit is a position sufficiently conspicuous to provide an opportunity to speak out and be listened to."

It is Theodore Roosevelt's use of the bully pulpit that greatly influenced the world around him. Allowing him to move the country forward in times of peace and to rally support in times of conflict.

Ms. Goodwin shows how Mr Roosevelt used his friend and the press to promote his agendas. Thus, the author introduces the other protagonists in her great work of non-fiction: William Howard Taft and the great investigative journalists so important to the times.

By delving into the papers and diaries of Roosevelt and Taft, their friends, family, and their colleagues, Ms. Goodwin has recreated the chronological facts of each life for a three-dimensional view of history.

I was in awe of how Teddy Roosevelt spoke to the people, made great friends, and wanted what was best for the country. I thought Mr. Taft soft-spoken and insecure, but loved by many. The journalists, each had their own agenda, fleshed from experience, flushed with the chance to find out the truth. In reality, all things change. There are disappointments on all sides. There are happy and sad times. Times to question where you are going and what your are doing. We all have greatness. We all have weakness. Ms. Goodwin's ability to show just those dimensions can move us to tears.

I will keep my seat next to Ms. Goodwin's for the chance to see the color in the world as I journey through history.

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