I really have to commend Edmund Morris's Colonel Roosevelt (the linked review, by the way, is by Geoffrey C. Ward, hislef the author of two of the best biographies of FDR written to date, Before the Trumpet: Young Franklin Roosevelt and A First Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt, which ave partially done for FDR what Morris has now completed for TR; reconstructed his life in engaging narrative form, with scrupulous accuracy and an awareness of his subject's gifts and deficits).
Colonel Roosevelt is great reading, as each part of Morris's triptych of TR's life is. I confess that to me the best volume remains the first--The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. Tht volume had the advantage of covering a broader swath of time, and of focusing on the personal life and development of TR, in the context of his family. Although David McCulloch's excellent Mornings On Horseback covers much the same ground, I always felt that Morris grasped TR's essence more profoundly. Colonel Roosevelt, like its immediate predecessor Theodore Rex, has lost that context--TR's family and friends move in and out as supporting cast, and are not as integral as they were in Rise. But the story is superbly told, TR comes alive in Morris's depiction as well as ever, and the occasional startling insight from our author strikes a spark (as River Song would caution me here, "Spoi-lers"). Qnd teh depth of Roosevelt's interests and learning, often masked behind his bluff facade, here shows through.
TR's progressivism is especially well delineated here, as is his fiery impatience with the Old Guad Republicans who just could not understand that creating a "Square Deal" for labor, for women, for minorities, was the wave of the political future, as welll as a moral imperative. Even clever soundrels, he thought, could grasp that. (He was right; after the Triangle Factory Fire, Tammany Hall reached out to organized labor, and reaped a large reward of votes). TR believed in doing right, regardless, but here doing right and political opportunism urged in the same direction.
I'll leave you to draw the obviousl parallel; TR would certainly not be at home in today's Republican Party, or even welcome. Indeed, even the Democrats would be (as Wilson was for him) too pro-business, too relucatnt to use the big stick on corporate interests. One day, perhaps, we'll catch up with him.