Executive produced by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin and Oscar® winner Leonardo DiCaprio, Theodore Roosevelt explores the life of one of history’s most fascinating figures — a cowboy, soldier, statesman, conservationist, adventurer, reformer, author, and finally, U.S. president. Featuring over five hours of expert interviews, rich archival material, and vivid live-action sequences, this two-part documentary charts Roosevelt’s journey from his sickly childhood to being a champion for the working man to becoming, at age 42, the youngest president of the United States, whose legacy and impact on progressive political policies reverberate today.

What We Thought:

As a man Theodore Roosevelt is extremely fascinating. As a politician, well that depends on your own personal beliefs. I’ve always enjoyed history so this two-part series from The History Channel was right up my alley. It combines re-enactments with archival footage/photos to tell the story of T.R.

If you aren’t familiar with the story of Teddy Roosevelt this new DVD will be highly educational. Even knowing a lot about him myself, I learned some new things and just enjoyed it overall. Roosevelt was born into wealth, but his father died at a young age and both his first wife and mother would die on the same day from typhoid. Despite coming from a privileged life, he cared about other people especially the less fortunate. Every step of his career he wanted to help people and make their lives easier. As a politician he pushed for social reform, unions, better working conditions and making sure kids didn’t work jobs they shouldn’t. He wanted those like him, the rich elite, to play by the same rules other had to. He took on the heads of industry when they thought he would back them being from a wealthy family.

But what I love about him the most is his personal side. Forget the politician, T.R. was the ultimate outdoorsman. The series talks about his time in Maine and the wild west living off the land and trying to be a cowboy. He considered himself to be one of the people and always felt the need to prove himself so. Then there’s his military life, leading the Rough Riders in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. He left a cushy job in government to fight a cause he believed in. The series talks about how the one thing he didn’t like about his dad was his father bought his way out of the Civil War when other men fought bravely. Roosevelt felt it was his duty to train and go to Cuba to make amends for his father’s lack of military service.

The History Channel makes some great programs and I liked Theodore Roosevelt. The man playing Teddy did a good job and there’s a good mix of real history and actors portraying the events. If you like History Channel programming and missed this I definitely recommend it.

Rufus Jones TV’s “W1A,” TV’s “Hunderby”
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