Theodore Roosevelt, Naturalist in the Arena


Theodore Roosevelt, Naturalist in the Arena

Edited by Char Miller and Clay S. Jenkinson

258 pages
31 photographs, 5 illustrations, 1 index

eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

March 2020


$24.95 Add to Cart

March 2020


$24.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

March 2020


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Theodore Roosevelt’s scientific curiosity and love of the outdoors proved a defining force throughout his hectic life as a rancher and explorer, police commissioner and governor of New York, vice president and president of the United States. Conservation and natural history were parts of a whole for this driven, charismatic public servant, and Roosevelt approached the natural world with joy and a passionate engagement.

Drawing on an array of approaches—biographical, ecological and environmental, literary and political, Theodore Roosevelt, Naturalist in the Arena analyzes this energetic man’s manifold encounters with the great outdoors. George Bird Grinnell, Gifford Pinchot, John Muir, and William Hornaday were among the many conservationists with whom Roosevelt corresponded, collaborated, hiked, and governed—and in turn, inspired.

Together, Roosevelt and his contemporaries developed a progressive argument for the conservation of natural resources as a way to construct a more democratic nation-state. This legacy also comes with some troubling domestic and global implications, as Roosevelt fused his call for the conservation of resources—natural and human, domestically and internationally—with a deep-seated conviction that some were more fit than others to control the world and define its future.


Author Bio

Char Miller is the W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and director of the Environmental Analysis Program at Pomona College. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including America’s Great National Forests, Wildernesses, and Grasslands. Clay S. Jenkinson is Theodore Roosevelt Humanities Scholar and the founder of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University. He is the author of nine books, including The Character of Meriwether Lewis: Explorer in the Wilderness.


"This is a fine look at a complex man which brings attention to both his tragic demerits and valuable legacy."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The collection makes a valuable scholarly contribution on multiple fronts: Roosevelt as a naturalist is the subject of the collection, but his life and work also provide a fulcrum to explore U.S. environmental history during one of its most transformative moments."—Kristen R. Egan, Western Historical Quarterly

"Editors Char Miller and Clay Jenkinson identify as special strengths of this collection the care the contributors have given to reading TR correctly by intense immersion in the primary and secondary sources, by bringing personal perspectives to bear, and by using insights from multiple disciplines. The editors can be proud of the uniformly readable and diverse collection they present."—Dr. Spencer Davis, Nebraska History

"Theodore Roosevelt: Naturalist in the Arena is a book about small things. This is good. In the immense scholarship of Theodore Roosevelt . . . the small things have often been over-looked. Editors Char Miller and Clay S. Jenkinson have done fine work knitting together a compendium of these small things—chance acquaintances, wildlife encounters, and political collaborations. . . . It is good for us today that these small things resulted in something big: the protection of our natural and wildlife treasures and efforts to educate the nation about them."—Gregory A. Wynn, Annals of Iowa

"Theodore Roosevelt: Naturalist in the Arena is a welcome addition to the Roosevelt historiography. Its interdisciplinary approach allows for diverse topics and points of view, grounded by their shared connection to the natural world and Roosevelt's place within it."—Julie Courtwright, Great Plains Quarterly

"Theodore Roosevelt: Naturalist in the Arena is suited for an audience interested in presidential history and environmental studies. I recommend this book because his policies continue to impact the nation."—Nicholas Christopher Francis Wooden, Chronicles of Oklahoma

“Char Miller and Clay Jenkinson have brought together a remarkable collection of smart essays that is compulsively readable and thought-provoking. It is a volume full of spritely writing and rich insights.”—Virginia Scharff, distinguished professor of history emerita, University of New Mexico

“A marvelous job of reminding the world why Theodore Roosevelt was America’s first green president. All the essays included in this volume are first rate. A dazzling addition to Progressive Era and environmental history studies. Highly recommended!”—Douglas Brinkley, Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and professor of history, Rice University

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