June 07, 2014
Roosevelt's high horse
I have picked up where I left off almost a year ago, as Roosevelt is settling in to his role of president in 1902. The main issues he has to deal with in the term he inherited from McKinley are trusts, monopolies, a coal strike, and its consequences for labor nationwide. Although these are not the mythical tasks Roosevelt dreams himself to be born for, he's uniquely suited for them — as someone who grew up among the upper class in New York and Harvard but has also ranched in North Dakota and fought on the front lines (of a war that he started), he can identify with both the industrialists and the workers, and both sides trust him to understand their position, if not to back it.
Edmund Morris's chapters are mercifully short - averaging around 10 pages - during this time, as if he knew that he'd have to break railroad merger negotiations into digestible bits. God bless Edmund Morris.
And if I may; thanks so much to those of you who have contacted me via the comments, twitter, or email over the past year to ask if At Times Dull was going to be Forever Dull. I did not intend to neglect it for so long. I've been much busier with other writing projects for the past year, which is a great thing, but unfortunately ATD is the easiest thing to put off. I'm hoping to balance them more successfully going forward. After all, I made it to the 20th century! I must make it to the 21st!