So, I picked up a book I’ve been wanting to read for a little while called River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard. It is the story of Teddy Roosevelt’s expedition into uncharted territory on the Amazon River when he needed something dangerous and adventurous to deal with his grief over losing the 1912 presidential election. I’m just getting into it, but will offer interesting tidbits at some point along the way with this one. A couple of things at this stage though.
1. Teddy Roosevelt was larger than life. His intellect, personality, man’s man ruggedness and taste for adventure, and incredible drive and focus stand out as incarnating a sort of super-Americana legend around the beginning of the 20th century. I can already tell I will enjoy this book because I will get to know him a little better. He is an engaging figure.
2. Related to #1, the author–Candice Millard, a former writer and editor at National Geographic, is doing a wonderful job of presenting the historical events in an engaging and well-paced narrative. She stops to explain character backgrounds and political context but quickly moves back into the plot that is driving the book. I feel up to speed on the people and events without being bogged down in rabbit trails.