Heir to the Empire City
New York and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt is best remembered as America’sprototypical “cowboy” president—a Rough Rider who derived his political wisdomfrom a youth spent in the untamed American West. But while the great outdoorscertainly shaped Roosevelt’s identity, historian Edward P. Kohn argues that itwas his hometown of New York that made him the progressive president wecelebrate today. During his early political career, Roosevelt took on localRepublican factions and Tammany Hall Democrats alike, proving his commitment toreform at all costs. He combated the city’s rampant corruption and helped toguide New York through the perils of rabid urbanization and the challenges ofaccommodating an influx of immigrants—experiences that would serve him well aspresident of the United States.
A riveting account of a man and a city on the brink ofgreatness, Heir to the Empire City reveals that Roosevelt’s trueeducation took place not in the West but on the mean streets ofnineteenth-century New York.
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