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The Lion and the Journalist: The Unlikely Friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and Joseph Bucklin Bishop

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Theodore Roosevelt, accidental president, and Joseph Bishop, newspaper editor, met when the future Rough Rider was police commissioner of New York City. Bishop hitched his wagon to the politician’s star and used his editorial pages in New York papers to buttress Roosevelt’s initiatives first as police commissioner, then as governor and president. Here is a new and importan Theodore Roosevelt, accidental president, and Joseph Bishop, newspaper editor, met when the future Rough Rider was police commissioner of New York City. Bishop hitched his wagon to the politician’s star and used his editorial pages in New York papers to buttress Roosevelt’s initiatives first as police commissioner, then as governor and president. Here is a new and important look at one of America’s most important leaders and the man who helped him achieve his goals. The Lion and the Journalist is a remarkable story of mutual loyalty and dedication that ranges from police corruption on the streets of New York, through days of boldness and courage in the White House and beyond, to ambition and hardship in the jungles of Panama.


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Theodore Roosevelt, accidental president, and Joseph Bishop, newspaper editor, met when the future Rough Rider was police commissioner of New York City. Bishop hitched his wagon to the politician’s star and used his editorial pages in New York papers to buttress Roosevelt’s initiatives first as police commissioner, then as governor and president. Here is a new and importan Theodore Roosevelt, accidental president, and Joseph Bishop, newspaper editor, met when the future Rough Rider was police commissioner of New York City. Bishop hitched his wagon to the politician’s star and used his editorial pages in New York papers to buttress Roosevelt’s initiatives first as police commissioner, then as governor and president. Here is a new and important look at one of America’s most important leaders and the man who helped him achieve his goals. The Lion and the Journalist is a remarkable story of mutual loyalty and dedication that ranges from police corruption on the streets of New York, through days of boldness and courage in the White House and beyond, to ambition and hardship in the jungles of Panama.

30 review for The Lion and the Journalist: The Unlikely Friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and Joseph Bucklin Bishop

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carl Rollyson

    I've begun reading this fascinating book. I was hooked during a conversation with the author. I'm always interested in books that deal with biographers and their subjects, and this treatment of the duo does not disappoint. I plan to make this book a subject of a future column of mine, Biographology, on bibliobuffet.com I finished reading the book, and my reaction afterwards was a bit of a surprise. I did not expect to learn anything new about Roosevelt, which was okay, because my main interest wa I've begun reading this fascinating book. I was hooked during a conversation with the author. I'm always interested in books that deal with biographers and their subjects, and this treatment of the duo does not disappoint. I plan to make this book a subject of a future column of mine, Biographology, on bibliobuffet.com I finished reading the book, and my reaction afterwards was a bit of a surprise. I did not expect to learn anything new about Roosevelt, which was okay, because my main interest was the interaction between Roosevelt and his biographer, who also happened to be Roosevelt's friend. How did Joseph Bucklin Bishop maintain any sort of credibility since he was so close to Roosevelt? Well, first of all Bishop did not always agree with TR, and TR made the relationship work because he did not lean on Bishop to provide "good news" about TR's activities. I have to say I began to see TR more and more through his biographer/friend's eyes. In other words, I had no doubt that TR was a great man. In fact, after reading this book I'm rather puzzled as to why TR, who is always ranked as a good president, is not seen as a great one. His role as conservationist alone deserves the highest rating. But also his dealings with unions and his gradual realization that without them big business would exploit workers and the environment without much compunction speks well of Roosevelt's evolving understanding of American capitalism. I also have to admit that I read this book through the lens of my own experience, having become very close to the British labour politician Michael Foot, who, unfortunately, did not resist, as TR did, the temptation to see his biographer as an extension of himself. No doubt Joseph Bucklin Bishop put TR in a positive light, but that was Bishop's doing, not TR's effort to control what the biographer said. In that sense, I did learn something new about TR: what a fine man he was and how much confidence he put in Bishop whether Bishop always agreed with him or not. And what a fine man Bishop was, putting his confidence in the right leader for the right time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ralph

    Teddy Roosevelt has always been my favorite president, and this examination of TR through his friendship with the editor and journalist Joseph Bishop, written by the great-grand nephew of Bishop, only reinforces my appreciation of Roosevelt as one of the Three best presidents. The book captures the lives of two different yet similar men whose interests in good government and social reform brought them together and made them friends for life, and beyond. This excellent double biography is marred Teddy Roosevelt has always been my favorite president, and this examination of TR through his friendship with the editor and journalist Joseph Bishop, written by the great-grand nephew of Bishop, only reinforces my appreciation of Roosevelt as one of the Three best presidents. The book captures the lives of two different yet similar men whose interests in good government and social reform brought them together and made them friends for life, and beyond. This excellent double biography is marred only by a few lapses by Bishop's proofreader, such as when Latin America escaped the tyranny of eggs ("the yolk of Spanish colonialism"). Still, even such errors do not seriously detract from my enjoyment of this biography. I now have a great appreciation for the men, like Bishop, who believed in and supported Roosevelt through thick and thin.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    A well written piece by the subject J.B. Bishop's great grand-nephew. Offers insight into the turn-of-the-century print publishing, TR's understanding of the PR game, and the massive effort that was the building of the Panama Canal. References likely sources such as McCullough's The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 and Edmund Morris's Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy Bundle: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, and Colonel Roosevelt, but also includes some en A well written piece by the subject J.B. Bishop's great grand-nephew. Offers insight into the turn-of-the-century print publishing, TR's understanding of the PR game, and the massive effort that was the building of the Panama Canal. References likely sources such as McCullough's The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 and Edmund Morris's Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy Bundle: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, and Colonel Roosevelt, but also includes some enlightening personal correspondence between the two men. A worthy addition to a TR collection.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ric White

    This is a good alternative look at the life of Teddy Roosevelt. By exploring a friendship that seems odd by many standards, we get to see a side of Roosevelt not normally viewed. The story does bog down a little with the Panama Canal, but as that was a large chunk of Bishop's life, it makes some sense. I will probably go on to read better biographies of Roosevelt, but this is a good one for those who can't get enough of Teddy. This is a good alternative look at the life of Teddy Roosevelt. By exploring a friendship that seems odd by many standards, we get to see a side of Roosevelt not normally viewed. The story does bog down a little with the Panama Canal, but as that was a large chunk of Bishop's life, it makes some sense. I will probably go on to read better biographies of Roosevelt, but this is a good one for those who can't get enough of Teddy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

    Bishop's take on the relationship between Theodore Roosevelt and Joseph Bucklin Bishop was an interesting way to approach writing a biography of Roosevelt for the most part though, he covers familiar territory for anyone who has read a Roosevelt biography before. Bishop's take on the relationship between Theodore Roosevelt and Joseph Bucklin Bishop was an interesting way to approach writing a biography of Roosevelt for the most part though, he covers familiar territory for anyone who has read a Roosevelt biography before.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vincent W DeCaria

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marylyn

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gary Wilson

  10. 5 out of 5

    Liz Pollock

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peggy Harper

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jane Thompson

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Snowden

  15. 5 out of 5

    Josh

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chip Bishop

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  18. 5 out of 5

    Denise Pratt

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lloyd Taylor

  20. 5 out of 5

    Thomas M. Alvord

  21. 5 out of 5

    Debra Lape

  22. 5 out of 5

    CAROLYN A. FINOIA

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ann Fisher

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marc

  26. 5 out of 5

    kerry s. martin

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dottie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eoh

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ken Robertson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Beryl Moody

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