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That Damned Cowboy

Theodore Roosevelt and the American West, 1883-1898


Michael L. Collins

Of the many forces that shaped Theodore Roosevelt the warrior, the hunter, the statesman, the historian, none was more important, none more enduring than the frontier experience. As an impressionable youth, Roosevelt followed his fertile and far-reaching interests from the confines of New York politics to the open range of stock raising, then on to the intellectual frontiers of history. In the process, this son of the East became one of the nation's foremost exponents of the values, ideals, and culture of the American West.
Contents: A narrative of Theodore Roosevelt's lifelong romance with the American West, this study recounts his ranching and hunting experiences, the evolution of his racial views regarding the American Indian, his belief in Manifest Destiny, his commitment to conservation of the American wilderness, the origins of the «Big Stick», his passion for frontier history. Behind the familiar, warlike face of Theodore Roosevelt is a forgotten pioneer among frontier historians. A serious student of the American West, Roosevelt was an important, though in the past ignored, intellectual forerunner of historian Frederick Jackson Turner's landmark Frontier Thesis.