It is impossible to describe Theodore Roosevelt because he is so multi-dimensional. Any description of him turns into a long discertation about his interests, accomplishments and experiences. Mr. HERMANN HAGEDORN'S book's introduction describes TR's character by stating what TR believes. This seems to be a perfect way to understand the boy that made a conscious decision to lead a non-material, unselfish and honest life and then fulfilled his desire.
I believe in honesty, sincerity, and the square deal; in making up one's mind what to do and doing it.
I believe in fearing God and taking one's own part.
I believe in hitting the line hard when you are right.
I believe in speaking softly and carrying a big stick.
I believe in hard work and honest sport.
I believe in a sane mind in a sane body.
I believe we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.
Mr. Hagedorn's desire in writing this book was to have it used in schools across American as a necessary civics course to teach generations of American citizens the duties that must be adopted to keep America strong. He understood that Theodore Roosevelt tried to give his country every opportunity to achieve greatness and that Theodore Roosevelt showed through example what could be accomplished if average people start to follow his leadership toward Theodore Roosevelt's vision of good citizenship.
This web site was built with the identical desire of Mr. Hagedorn. Is it not interesting that this book was discovered after the web site was built? Anyone that seriously studies TR will no doubt discover that TR learned from history and that he jealously guarded and documented his life's story so that people in the future would benefit by the trail he fearlessly blazed through a world that mostly practices a different philosophy than he practiced. It is my opinion that he wished that his accomplishments in life prove that his philosophy works best if we, with his essential help, only get citizens to look back into history at his life's story. Anyone wishing to make Mr. Hagedorn's desire possible will find a way to make it possible by supporting this web site. We offer plenty of ways for commitments large and small for action that will revive what was no doubt TR's desire to instill proven beliefs in future generations.
Author Edmund Morris in his book “Colonel Roosevelt” offers some critical analysis of Hagedorn . If life is kind to me I shall endeavor to document the so called high crime of falling pray to promoting particular legends (which are unnamed by Morris in “Colonel Roosevelt”). Pringle & Morris’ assertions no doubt has some foundation but when such statements are made without a specific catalog of the legends of which he speaks it is similar to a vandal indiscriminately destroying that which is good. The “I believe statements” found above are proven facts backed up with actions and are not part of any legend.
Edmond Morris legend assertion from “Colonel Roosevelt” follows:
“Even more damaging was the fact that Pringle was the first major biographer who declined to take Roosevelt seriously. He mocked the Rough Rider's fake humility and, with documentary evidence and authoritative anecdote, demolished many legends that Hagedorn and others had so long taken as gospel. He made full use of the Roosevelt presidential papers on deposit in the Library of Congress, and was clever enough to conceal the fact that he knew little about the final decade of his subject's life. If he was often unfair, his prejudice was excusable as a reaction against too much myth. When the time came to award that year's Pulitzer Prize for biography, Pringle was the obvious recipient.”