I snagged a copy of a book on Theodore Roosevelt because I thought my husband would enjoy reading it. But, I started reading it one sunny afternoon- prior to all these late April, chilly, rainy days- and found it highly interesting.
The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, A lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History by Darrin Lunde is about the boyhood explorations of Roosevelt and how they highly impacted his career. Everything from his desire to please his outdoorsy-type father, to his issues with asthma and his interest in cataloguing small animals and birds all intertwined to become his life passions. He devoted his adult life to proving naturalists were true biologists, protecting animals that were on the verge of extinction and providing lasting specimens for which could Americans learn. The Naturalist gives a great account of his life and how he accomplished the many goals he dreamed of meeting.
As someone who isn’t too political, I enjoyed the bit of information Lunde included about Roosevelt’s presidency. It was just enough to see how his interest in America’s natural resources influenced his ideals as president. Mid-way through the book, I watched PBS’s documentary about the National Parks (by Ken Burns) and was excited to see how much of the history of the Parks I already knew from reading this book.
Lunde did a fine job explaining the dichotomy Roosevelt faced as he was a hunter and a naturalist. He worked to create rules of hunting as a true sportsman rather than a blood-thirsty hobby.
I was given a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinions. Thanks Blogging for Books!