Theodore Roosevelt is one of the most well-received presidents of the United States. He ran for president more than once, but didn’t actually receive the title until he became vice president. During his vice presidency the president at the time, William McKinley, was assasinated. Roosevelt was sworn in as his replacement, and then later won the election for a second term presidency. As president, Roosevelt had numerous accomplishments: he conserved parks, he implemented more athletics, and he instituted the national wildlife conservation project. His achievements were notable, leading him to be one of the greatest presidents the United States has seen. He lived an adventurous life, full of courage and kindness. He did a lot of great work. Every American, and anyone else curious about him, should read one or two books on Roosevelt.
What are the Best Theodore Roosevelt Books to read?
The books listed below are some great ones that discuss every element of Roosevelt’s life.
Best Theodore Roosevelt Books: Our Top 20 Picks
Here are some of the best Theodore Roosevelt books that you can consider to expand your knowledge on the subject:
1. The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey
Theodore Roosevelt had an adventurous and riveting life. His most notable accomplishment was being the 26th president of the United States. He had many other great stories and experiences that aren’t discussed as often as his presidency. The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Milard recounts Roosevelt’s journey in the Amazon. The River of Doubt is an uncharted river that spans across the Amazon. After finishing up his final term of presidency, Roosevelt decided to explore the Amazon. Roosevelt and his men faced many hardships, but after this trip, he had the confidence to become president and lead the country. Millard writes with a great deal of emotion and excitement. This book will draw readers in with the amazing adventures, and the history behind them.
- Authors: Candice Millard (Author)
- Publisher: Broadway Books; 1st Edition (October 10, 2006)
- Pages: 416 pages
2. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, is pretty well known. He was intelligent, kind, and a great leader. But what did he do? The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris is a biography that marks the 100th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt becoming president. This book covers all aspects of Roosevelt’s life, starting with his birth in 1858. The biography delves into Roosevelt’s childhood, his education, and how he came to be the 26th president of the United States. A particularly interesting aspect of this book is Roosevelt’s relationship with his father, and the turmoil that followed his death. Readers won’t just learn about Roosevelt in this book, they’ll also connect with him. His story is inspiring, and great to learn about.
- Authors: Edmund Morris (Author)
- Publisher: Random House (November 23, 2010)
- Pages: 960 pages
3. Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt has overcome a lot in his life. An aspect of his life that many don’t know about is how sickly he was as a kid. Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt by David MucCullough focuses on Roosevelt’s childhood, and how it shaped him to be the impressive man he became. McCullough discusses Roosevelt’s history of illness, most of which has to do with his nearly fatal asthma attacks. In addition to discussing how frail and ill Roosevelt was a child, this book also discusses his family and life with them. There are wonderfully personal and emotional themes in this book. There is grief, courage, love, and so much more. This is a great read for getting to know the person behind the 26th president.
- Authors: David McCullough (Author)
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Edition (May 12, 1982)
- Pages: 480 pages
4. Theodore Rex
Theodore Roosevelt had many, many adventures. He only lived to the ripe age of 60, but he did so much. Of his sixty years, he spent eight of them in the White House. Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris focuses on Theordore Roosevelt’s time as president. As a president, Roosevelt had charm, intelligence, and wit. He combated many problems during his time in his office. Some of the problems he addressed were of race and labor relations. He protected many parks and forests. He was an environmentalist. What was considered his greatest achievement, however, was his installation of the national conservation policy.
- Authors: Edmund Morris (Author)
- Publisher: Random House; 1st Edition (November 20, 2001)
- Pages: 784 pages
5. Colonel Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt has been commended for all of the great work he did. Before he even became president, he toured Europe where many people called him “the most famous man in the world.” Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Norris is a book that is a biography that depicts all of Roosevelt’s life. Although much of his life is discussed in this book, it mainly focuses on Roosevelt’s post-presidency achievements. This book is very descriptive and interesting. Morris is eloquent and colorful with his words. The tone of this book is straight-forward and riveting. The final years of Roosevelt’s life were just as notable as his early years, and his time in office. This book sheds light on these beautiful years, and explains why people should care about Roosevelt’s post-presidency work.
- Authors: Edmund Morris (Author)
- Publisher: Random House; First Edition (November 23, 2010)
- Pages: 784 pages
6. The Rough Riders
The Rough Riders were the first United States volunteer cavalry which was created to help with the Spanish-American war. This volunteer just happened to be led by the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. The Rough Riders by Theodore Roosevelt is his own autobiography about his life and the Rough Riders. This book recounts the many challenges the Rough Riders faced during the Spanish-American War. Readers can trust the information in this book because it was actually, truly written by someone who lived it: Roosevelt. Roosevelt is an incredible writer. He captivates readers with his storytelling techniques, and his passion. This book was recently converted to a digital edition, so readers can enjoy it on paper or on the screen. This is a wonderful read by a wonderful man.
- Authors: Theodore Roosevelt (Author)
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 23, 2018)
- Pages: 136 pages
7. Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense: The Courtroom Battle to Save His Legacy
Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense: The Courtroom Battle to Save His Legacy by David Fischer and Dan Abrams recounts the history of Theodore Roosevelt’s defense in the case against his rival, William Barnes. This was a huge trial because it meant Roosevelt could lose a lot of money and integrity. The research and information from this book is included in this text. There are court transcripts, news reports, and other sources included in this text. This was a confusing trial that had many Americans excited and nervous. By reading this case, readers will get a sense of what it was like to be in the same courtroom as Roosevelt and Barnes. It also teaches them how to defend themselves in court, as well. The extraordinary person that was Roosevelt is closely examined in this book. There is lots of information and great analogies on this case in this book.
- Authors: Dan Abrams (Author), David Fisher (Author)
- Publisher: Hanover Square Press; Original Edition (May 21, 2019)
- Pages: 400 pages
8. Who Was Theodore Roosevelt?
There have been 50 presidents in the United States of America. Some of these presidents were more notable than others. One of the most notable presidents was Thedore Roosevelt. Not only should adults know who Theodore Roosevelt is, but kids should, too. After all, the teddy bear was named after him. Who Was Theodore Roosevelt by Michael Burgan and Jerry Hoare is a great book for teaching children about Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt is known for his great work with wildlife, which kids can relate to. He even won a nobel peace prize. Children will be able to learn about all the great work Roosevelt did in this book in a fun and interesting way. This is an easy read, and it’s especially great for kids who have to write a report about Roosevelt.
- Authors: Michael Burgan (Author), Who HQ (Author), Jerry Hoare (Illustrator)
- Publisher: Penguin Workshop; Illustrated Edition (May 1, 2014)
- Pages: 112 pages
9. The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, A Lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History
The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, A Lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History by Darrine Lunde focuses on the work Theodore Roosevelt did to conserve wildlife. Roosevelt helped implement many environmental and wildlife clean up and conservation programs when in office. He also explored many parts of the world, including uncharted territory in the Amazon. He did a great deal of good for nature and the environment. This book discusses the great work with wildlife Roosevelt did, but it also explores the work of those who inspired him. Roosevelt had to get his passion for wildlife somewhere. The information in this book is very interesting, and hails directly from Roosevelt’s diaries and journals. Readers will truly connect with Roosevelt in this book because it is about his greatest passion: wildlife.
- Authors: Darrin Lunde (Author)
- Publisher: Crown; 1st Edition (April 12, 2016)
- Pages: 352 pages
10. Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail
Theodore Roosevelt was many things. Among the notable positions he had– president, war, and Nobel Peace Prize winners– he was also an adventurer and a hunter. For a long time Roosevelt lived in North Dakota. He had gone there to hunt bison, but he fell in love with nature and wildlife and decided to stay. Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail by Theodore Roosevelt is Roosevelt’s own book about his experiences in the West. He spent two years in North Dakota, and saw many incredible and great things. He had wonderful adventures that he recaptures in this book. He makes humble living in the wilderness seem like paradise. Roosevelt has a way with nature and a way with words that will draw readers into this story.
- Authors: Theodore Roosevelt (Author)
- Publisher: Independently published (March 15, 2019)
- Pages: 155 pages
11. T.R.: The Last Romantic
Theodore Roosevelt was considered to be a great man and a great president. However, like everyone else, he had his flaws. T.R.: The Last Romantic by H.W. Brands unpacks all of Roosevelt’s life, from the good to the bad. This is a very well-written and detailed account of Roosevelt’s life. There are about 800 pages in this book, with each one being more riveting than the next. He was a fearless man who had many great adventures and experiences. He was a great leader, too. This book tackles the history of Roosevelt, and explains why he is so we’ll celebrate. The book also explains his faults, and how he could have improved his life and presidency. Overall, this is a great book on Roosevelt because it looks at him through a non-partisan lens. This read is interesting, engaging, and easy to read.
- Authors: H. W. Brands (Author)
- Publisher: Basic Books; Illustrated Edition (September 11, 1998)
- Pages: 928 pages
12. The Crowded Hour: Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and the Dawn of the American Century
Theodore Roosevelt’s history is expansive and interesting. He had many amazing achievements as a human, and as a president. Some of his greatest work was from the Rough Riders. The Crowded Hour: Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and the Dawn of the American Century by Clay Risen is a story about Theodore Roosevelt as well as the volunteer cavalry he led, the Rough Riders. The book discusses the history of the Rough Riders, all that they did, and why they volunteer. This cavalry was a unique set of men. Some of those that joined the cavalry were cowboys. Other members of the cavalry were Ivy League athletes. Many men of different backgrounds volunteered. This says a lot about Roosevelt’s leadership skills. This book will help readers gain a better idea of who the Rough Riders were, and why they are an important part of history.
- Authors: Clay Risen (Author)
- Publisher: Scribner; 1st Edition (June 4, 2019)
- Pages: 368 pages
13. Theodore Roosevelt: A Life
Theodore Roosevelt had an awe-inspiring, adventurous life. His life was so eventful that, when documenting his life story, many historians write a series on his life, instead of one single book. Theodore Roosevelt: A Life by Nathan Miller is a simple, on volume book on the entire life of Roosevelt. Every little bit of his life is discussed in his book, from his sickly childhood to his experiences as a president. Every triumph and tragedy from Roosevelt’s life is included in this book. There are many great details in this book that are colorful and invigorating. The book is thought-provoking, but easy to understand. This biography is not too long and redundant. Overall, it’s an interesting read on a great man and president.
- Authors: Nathan Miller (Author)
- Publisher: Quill/William Morrow; Reissue Edition (January 1, 1992)
- Pages: 640 pages
14. Theodore Roosevelt: The American President’s Series: The 26th President, 1901-1909
Theodore Roosevelt lived for 60 years, but it is said he lived “four lives in one.” Along with serving as president for two terms, he was the leader of a volunteer cavalry, he explored the Amazon, he won a Nobel Peace Prize, and so much more. Theodore Roosevelt: The American President’s Series: The 26th President, 1901-1909 by Louis Auchincloss gives an intimate look at Theodore Roosevelt’s life and work, specifically from the years 1901-1909. He was a politician, a war leader, an adventurer, a president, and more. This is a thorough and enjoyable biography that gives a clear idea on what Roosevelt did. He did some great work in his early years that is often overlooked by his work as president. This is one book in a series of Roosevelt’s life. This series lends plenty of insight to the life of Theodore Roosevelt.
- Authors: Louis Auchincloss (Author), Arthur M. Schlesinger (Editor)
- Publisher: Times Books; 1st Edition (January 4, 2002)
- Pages: 176 pages
15. Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life
Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life by Kathleen Dalton is a wonderful biography on the 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt. The book captures every aspect of Roosevelt’s life. It starts with his childhood. He was a sickly child who fought many emotional and physical battles… but he overcame them, and moved on to greater things. As a young adult, he was adventurous and active. He explored regions of North Dakota, the Amazon, and more. He became one of the youngest, most notable presidents of the United States. He made many great policies that focused on conserving nature, parks, and wildlife. His life progressed in a fascinating way. The book looks at both Roosevelt’s history, and that of his family. Readers will garner a deep understanding of who Roosevelt was, and how his history shaped him.
- Authors: Kathleen Dalton (Author)
- Publisher: Knopf; 1st Edition (October 8, 2002)
- Pages: 752 pages
16. The Strenuous Life: Theodore Roosevelt and the Making of the American Athlete
Theodore Roosevelt was a very ill child. He had bad eyesight, crippling asthma, and many other ailments. While attending college, Roosevelt was told, by a doctor, that he “might die of a heart attack!” Instead of simply changing his own life and exercise habits, Roosevelt took this as an opportunity to help others, too. The Strenuous Life: Theodore Roosevelt and the Making of the American Athlete by Ryan Swanson discusses the impact sports and athletics had on Roosevelt’s life. Roosevelt took part in many sports. He practiced jiu-jitsu. He played tennis. He commended athletics while president, and even invited athletes to the White House. He wanted people to be active and healthy. During his presidency, an emphasis was made on adding P.E. to school curriculums, and many interscholastic sports began. Roosevelt encouraged healthy living, and did a lot for it.
- Authors: Ryan Swanson (Author)
- Publisher: Diversion Books; Illustrated Edition (August 20, 2019)
- Pages: 336 pages
17. Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography
Theodore Roosevelt’s history is compelling and intriguing. He had many incredible experiences that very few can relate to. Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography by Henry F. Pringle is a simple, straight-forward book biography about Roosevelt. The biography offers insight into Roosevelt’s career and how he became the man he was. This is a very informative read that is great for educators that are teaching lessons about Roosevelt. The book does not have a biased opinion on Roosevelt, but it can be a boring read. Some of the text is repetitive, and the writing is not very colorful. Pringle shares many facts about Roosevelt, but he doesn’t speak about him with passion or excitement. He simply explains who he was, and why he did the things he did.
- Authors: Henry F. Pringle (Author)
- Publisher: Mariner Books; First Edition (January 13, 2003)
- Pages: 456 pages
18. The Courage and Character of Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt was both a courageous and honorable man. He did great work for the country of the United States, and he was a well-received president. The Courage and Character of Theodore Roosevelt by George Grant specifically analyzes Roosevelt’s character and faith. This book is well researched and full of many enticing details about Roosevelt’s life. Because Grant researches and explains a specific aspect of Roosevelt’s life, as opposed to all of it, he lends readers a lot of new information that has not been discussed before. The book also discusses Roosevelt’s religion– something that few biographies on Roosevelt do. This is a great read for those who know lots about Roosevelt, but want to hear about a different perspective on his life. This is also a great read for those who are religious, and want to know how religion affected Roosevelt.
- Authors: George Grant (Author)
- Publisher: Cumberland House Publishing (April 15, 2005)
- Pages: 224 pages
19. The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt
The assassinations on presidents, or attempted assassinations of presidents, is not an unknown concept. Many presidents’ lives have been taken, or almost taken, by a citizen who didn’t agree with their policies. The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt by Burt Solomon uncovers an possible assasination attempt that few know about– one against Thedore Roosevelt. One year into his presidency, Roosevelt’s horse drawn carriage had an accident with an electric trolley. Roosevelt was safe, but one of his secret service agents was killed on the spot. Was this truly an accident, or was it an assisnation attempt? This is the question that is explored in this book. This story is based on truth, but it’s historical fiction. The book helps readers learn about history, while embarking on a mysterious adventure as the 26th president of the United States.
- Authors: Burt Solomon (Author)
- Publisher: Forge Books (December 3, 2019)
- Pages: 304 pages
20. Theodore Roosevelt: Letters and Speeches
It should come as no surprise that, along with being a great president, Theodore Roosevelt was a great writer and speaker, too. Theodore Roosevelt: Letters and Speeches by Thedore Roosevelt and Louis Auchincloss is a book full of the many speeches and letters of Roosevelt. There are 367 letters written by Roosevelt included in this text. The text also includes four of his speeches. This book gives readers a firsthand look at some of Roosevelt’s innermost thoughts. They get to read about who he was as a person through his own words. They can then compare his letters to his professional side, which can be reflected in his speeches. Reading a biography about Roosvelt is great, but it’s interesting to actually hear about Roosevelt’s life from him for a change. This is a wonderful read for anyone who likes and appreciates Roosevelt and the work he did.
- Authors: Theodore Roosevelt (Author), Louis Auchincloss (Editor)
- Publisher: Library of America; 1st Edition (October 7, 2004)
- Pages: 915 pages
Choosing the Best Theodore Roosevelt Books
As mentioned in these books, Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency was not his only achievement. He was an adventurous spirit with many goals and lots of passion. He never let failure keep him from exploring and becoming the powerful man he was. He lived life to the fullest. Many can learn a thing or two from these books and from Roosevelt himself. He was a worthy president who will go down in history as one of the greats.