They were best friends. Then politics got in the way. Drawing from numerous personal accounts Doris Kearns Goodwin takes us inside the White House and into the relationship shared by Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. We see how, with support from the press and a new form of reporting called "muck raking," the two men worked to change the course of our nation only to see a bitter political campaign leave them and their political party deeply divided. For those who love history The Bully Pulpit is a treasure trove of stories, delivering an up close and personal view of the two men and of the establishments of government and of the press.
I suspect Goodwin might spend a little too much time in the weeds for all but the biggest fans of U.S. history and/or fans of old style storytelling. As a narrative The Bully Pulpit is as much about character development as it is about history. Facts are delivered in a context that helps the reader get to know the people involved in taking us to the historical outcome. As a result The Bully Pulpit tells a true story without becoming a textbook. That being said, The Bully Pulpit is a very long book, best suited for patient readers who enjoy giving a story time to unfold.
Both educational and entertaining, I recommend this book to anyone who loves history. It's size and depth make it a book that can't be rushed but with Goodwin's very detailed research this book is full of historical treasures waiting to be unearth. I give The Bully Pulpit a very high recommendation for those who love history and for those who enjoy a well developed story line. Overall it's a solid one and a half thumbs up for a book that will change how you see Roosevelt, Taft, and the relationship between the White House and the press.
The Bully Pulpit available at Barnes and Noble
For information on Doris Kearns Goodwin