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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - "Theodore Roosevelt: an American Sissy" (1981) Summary & Analysis

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Theodore Roosevelt was an upper class sissy whose hyper-masculine jingoism and bully-bully swagger prefigured aspects of today's New Right, according to Vidal. The human being portrayed in a pair of Roosevelt biographies is both "fascinating and repellant," he asserts. Vidal refers to David McCullough, author of Mornings on Horseback, and The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, by Edmund Morris.

In three generations, the Roosevelts in 19th Century New York City had risen from hardware to plate glass to land development and banking. They were, according to Vidal, "a solemn, hardworking, uninspired lot who, according to the New York World, had a tendency 'to cling to the fixed and the venerable.'" It was from this clan of solid burghers that Theodore and his siblings emerged. Roosevelt made no lasting friendships...

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This section contains 436 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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