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Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198865803
Number of Pages: 240
Published: 08/04/2021
Width: 13.6 cm
Height: 20.2 cm
Theodore Roosevelt is well-known as a rancher, hunter, naturalist, soldier, historian, explorer, and statesman. His visage is etched on Mount Rushmore--alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln--as a symbol of his vast and consequential legacy. While Roosevelt's life has been written about from many angles, no modern book probes deeply into his engagement with religious beliefs, practices, and controversies despite his lifelong church attendance and commentary on religious issues. Theodore Roosevelt: Preaching from the Bully Pulpit traces Roosevelt's personal religious odyssey from youthful faith and pious devotion to a sincere but more detached adult faith. Benjamin J. Wetzel presents the president as a champion of the separation of church and state, a defender of religious ecumenism, and a "preacher" who used his "bully pulpit" to preach morality using the language of the King James Bible. Contextualizing Roosevelt in the American religious world of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Wetzel shows how religious groups interpreted the famous Rough Rider and how he catered to, rebuked, and interacted with various religious constituencies. Based in large part on personal correspondence and unpublished archival materials, this book offers a new interpretation of an extremely significant historical figure.

Benjamin J. Wetzel (Assistant Professor of History, Assistant Professor of History, Taylor University)

Benjamin J. Wetzel is Assistant Professor of History at Taylor University.

In this highly readable volume, Wetzel explains the religious views of Roosevelt in a way that will satisfy scholars and undergraduate or general readers alike. He skillfully interprets the evidence without reading into it more than is warranted. His conclusions are therefore convincing. To be both thorough and concise is truly remarkable, and speaks to Wetzel's command of the material. * Hans P. Vought, Fides et Historia * Wetzel does a fine job integrating Roosevelt's religious convictions with his politics and contextualizes Roosevelt's brand of Christianity with the various strands of Christianity at work in the US during Roosevelt's era. Clear, well-written, and thought-provoking, this book provides an important dimension into the public and private Roosevelt. * M. A. Genovese, CHOICE *

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