25 Fascinating Books About and By Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most well-known presidents in United States history. He was a leader on the battlefield and in politics, and he had a love of nature and reading that showed in his work.

Several books have been written about Theodore Roosevelt over the years, providing readers with insights into his life and career. 

Here are some of the best books about Theodore Roosevelt that we think you will love. At the bottom, you will also find a complete list of books written by him (including our 10 top recommendations!). 

Theodore Roosevelt Books

1. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

Written By: Edmund Morris

Published: 2001 (1979)

Pages: 816

In his book, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund Morris paints a portrait of a man who was not content to sit on the sidelines and watch history unfold. Roosevelt was a dynamic figure whose energy and passion for life was evident in everything he did.

This book shows you how he was determined to make a difference and leave his mark on the world. This determination led him to accomplish great things, both during his time in office and after he left the White House.

Some consider this to be one of the best nonfiction books of all time, won Morris a Pulitzer Prize, and a book about Theodore Roosevelt we highly recommend!

2. Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Written By: Nathan Miller

Published: 1992

Pages: 624

Drawing on original material and personal letters, this illuminating biography of Theodore Roosevelt offers a fresh look at one of America's most compelling presidents.

Nathan Miller paints a nuanced portrait of a leader whose intellect, force of will, and capacity for physical strenuousness was matched by an unwavering conviction in the righteousness of his beliefs.

The reader gains a new understanding of how Roosevelt's political instincts and legendary energy shaped the course of American history.

3. Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life

Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life

Written By: Kathleen Dalton

Published: 2004

Pages: 756

On October 27, 1858, Theodore Roosevelt was born to a wealthy family in New York City. Despite his privileged upbringing, Roosevelt would go on to lead a life of adventure and public service, becoming one of the most influential presidents in American history.

In Kathleen Dalton's biography Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life, readers are given an intimate look at his childhood, including his ongoing ill health as a boy and how it shaped his life.

You’ll learn about his early years spent hunting and exploring the wilderness to his tenure as president. Dalton covers it all.

4. Theodore Roosevelt: Letters and Speeches

Theodore Roosevelt: Letters and Speeches

Written By: Theodore Roosevelt, Louis Auchincloss (Editor)

Published: 2004

Pages: 960

Theodore Roosevelt was a prolific writer of books, letters, and speeches. In this book, you’ll read more than 350 letters written by the president between 1881 and 1919.

You’ll also get a chance to read four of his most important speeches word for word.

It's a great look into his writings, his life, and how these impacted both his life and the United States.

5. Theodore Rex

Theodore Rex

Written By: Edmund Morris

Published: 2001

Pages: 772

If you're looking for an entertaining and informative read, be sure to check out Edmund Morris' book Theodore Rex. The Pulitzer Prize-winner tells the story of America's 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, in meticulous detail.

From his early years as a sickly child to his tenure as one of the most influential presidents in U.S. history, Morris provides an intimate look at Roosevelt based on letters and other documentation written by those that knew him best.

It’s the second book by Morris on this list. Theodore Rex is a follow-up to his book The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.

6. The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

The Bully Pulpit

Written By: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Published: 2013

Pages: 910

In this book, you’ll learn about the complicated relationship between Roosevelt and Taft. Roosevelt was a huge supporter of Taft's and hand-picked him to become his successor in 1908. Taft snubbed Roosevelt and didn't acknowledge his help when Taft was elected as president.

From there, their relationship continued to deteriorate and ended when Roosevelt decided to run against Taft in 1912.

It’s a fascinating look at a different aspect of both the Roosevelt and Taft presidencies.

7. The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

The Big Burn

Written By: Timothy Egan

Published: 2009

Pages: 324

It was the biggest fire in American history, and it almost destroyed Teddy Roosevelt's dream of building a national park system. In August 1910, a massive wildfire tore through the mountains of Washington, Montana, and Idaho, incinerating 3 million acres of forest.

But the so-called Big Burn also galvanized public support for federal land management and helped solidify the need for the United States Forest Service.

Timothy Egan tells the story of this overlooked moment in American history in his book, The Big Burn.

8. The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

The River of Doubt

Written By: Candice Millard

Published: 2005

Pages: 416

In February of 1914, Theodore Roosevelt set out on an expedition down the River of Doubt in Brazil. It was to be his most challenging adventure yet – and it turned out to be his darkest.

After illness, accidents, and a mutiny by his own men, Roosevelt battled his way through the treacherous jungle river, coming face-to-face with death more times than he could count.

This is the incredible story of Roosevelt's harrowing journey – and his inspiring return to civilization.

9. Theodore Roosevelt and the Making of American Leadership

Theodore Roosevelt and the Making of American Leadership

Written By: Jon Knokey

Published: 2015

Pages: 512

Few people have had as great an impact on American leadership as Theodore Roosevelt. In this book, Jon Knokey examines how Roosevelt's upbringing and experiences helped him to become one of the most influential presidents in U.S. history.

Roosevelt was a champion of the people, and he used his power to fight for what he believed in. He also understood the importance of communicating with the public, and he developed new ways to reach out to Americans.

Knokey's book is a fascinating look at how Roosevelt transformed American politics and paved the way for future leaders.

10. Unreasonable Men: Theodore Roosevelt and the Republican Rebels Who Created Progressive Politics

Unreasonable Men

Written By: Michael Wolraich

Published: 2014

Pages: 310

In the history of the United States, there have been many influential presidents. Some have maintained a consistent political ideology throughout their terms, while others have shifted as new challenges and opportunities arise.

Theodore Roosevelt is one such president who evolved from being a conservative Republican to becoming one of the country's earliest progressive leaders. While this shift was largely due to personal experiences and opportunities, Roosevelt's beliefs and actions had a significant impact on American politics for years to come.

This book takes you behind the scenes of the fight between Roosevelt and Taft. Their well-documented battle broke the Republican party in two, which paved the way for more progressive candidates and policies.

11. The Hour of Fate: Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and the Battle to Transform American Capitalism

The Hour of Fate

Written By: Susan Berfield

Published: 2020

Pages: 304

At the turn of the 20th century, two titans of U.S. capitalism faced off in a battle that would transform the way the country did business.

On one side was President Theodore Roosevelt, who championed trust-busting and believed in a vigorous competitive economy.

On the other was J.P. Morgan, who believed in consolidation and partnerships between businesses to create monopolies.

This book details the clash between these two men that ushered in an era of reform and regulation in American business.

12. Rough Riders: Theodore Roosevelt, His Cowboy Regiment, and the Immortal Charge Up San Juan Hill

Rough Riders

Written By: Mark Lee Gardner

Published: 2016

Pages: 336

Theodore Roosevelt is famous for a lot of things: his time as the 26th president of the United States, his work creating national parks, his Nobel Peace Prize.

But one of T.R.'s lesser-known accomplishments is leading the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment or "Rough Riders." This group of cowboys and ranchers became infamous for their charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.

Thanks in part to Roosevelt's leadership, the Rough Riders are remembered as some of America's bravest and most badass soldiers.

13. Colonel Roosevelt

Colonel Roosevelt

Written By: Edmund Morris

Published: 2010

Pages: 766

This book is the third and final installment in Edmund Morris's biography of Theodore Roosevelt. It covers Roosevelt's time as President of the United States, starting with his election in 1912 and ending with his death in 1919.

Roosevelt was a dynamic leader, and this book provides a detailed account of his policies and accomplishments during his tenure as President. It also paints a vivid portrait of life in the White House during that period.

If you're interested in American history or in learning more about one of our most influential Presidents, then Colonel Roosevelt is worth reading.

14. T.R.: The Last Romantic

T.R.: The Last Romantic

Written By: H.W. Brands

Published: 1998

Pages: 928

In his new book, T.R.: The Last Romantic, historian H.W. Brands paints a sympathetic portrait of Theodore Roosevelt as an impassioned and idealistic leader who strove to make the world a better place.

Despite his many successes, Roosevelt was also plagued by personal tragedies and political setbacks that threatened to derail his career. This intimate biography offers an insightful look at one of America's most complex presidents.

15. Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt

Mornings on Horseback

Written By: David McCullough

Published: 1982

Pages: 445

Mornings on Horseback tells the extraordinary story childhood and young adult life of Theodore Roosevelt. It started when he turned 10 in 1869, thought to 1886 when he was 26.

From an early age, T.R. was wild and willful and had a tenacious desire to learn and explore. He was also faced poor health in his early years with an ongoing struggle with asthma.  

This book paints a vivid picture of his childhood up until the time when he was living in North Dakota as a real-life cowboy.

Through meticulous research and stunning images, author David McCullough brings readers inside T.R.'s world like never before. Mornings on Horseback is an unforgettable portrait of both a remarkable young man and the foundation that lead to his presidential success.

16. Taking on Theodore Roosevelt: How One Senator Defied the President on Brownsville and Shook American Politics

Taking on Theodore Roosevelt

Written By: Harry Lembeck

Published: 2015

Pages: 544

In 1906, Theodore Roosevelt found himself in a heated battle with the United States Senate. A group of African American soldiers stationed at Brownsville, Texas, had been accused of shooting up the town, killing one person, and severely injuring another. Roosevelt was adamant that they be dishonorably discharged.

Senator Joseph Foraker, however, refused to go along with the president's plan.

In the end, the soldiers were cleared of all charges and retained their military careers.

This book tells the story of Foraker’s defiance and shows how Theodore Roosevelt reversed course. In the end, it highlighted Roosevelt’s dedication to justice for all Americans.

17. The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt and His Adventures in the Wilderness

The Naturalist

Written By: Darrin Lunde

Published: 2016

Pages: 320

Few presidents in American history have been as closely associated with the natural world as Theodore Roosevelt. A lifelong naturalist and avid outdoorsman, Roosevelt was passionate about wildlife and conservation, and he made it a key part of his presidency.

This book tells the story of Roosevelt's adventures in the wilderness, from his early days exploring the forests and lakes of upstate New York to his famous safaris in Africa.

It provides a fascinating look at how his early childhood and life led to his deep connection to nature.

18. The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America

The Wilderness Warrior

Written By: Douglas Brinkley

Published: 2009

Pages: 960

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most well-known presidents in United States history. A man of many talents and accomplishments, he is most often remembered for his love of nature and conservationism.

He's worked hard to protect America's wilderness, and you can see the impact of his work throughout the U.S. today.

In this book by Douglas Brinkley, Roosevelt's passion for the outdoors and dedication to conservation are explored in detail.

19. When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt After the White House

When Trumpets Call

Written By:  Patricia O'Toole

Published: 2005

Pages: 512

Patricia O'Toole's When Trumpets Call is a detailed and engaging look at Theodore Roosevelt in the final decade of his life after he left the White House.

O'Toole paints a complex picture of Roosevelt, who was deeply affected by his time in the White House and sought to find a new purpose in life.

Despite finding much success post-presidential, Roosevelt also faced many challenges and disappointments.

20. The Crowded Hour: Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and the Dawn of the American Century

The Crowded Hour

Written By: Clay Risen

Published: 2019

Pages: 368

President Theodore Roosevelt is known for his love of hunting and the outdoors. One lesser-known fact about him, however, is his involvement with the Rough Riders. This volunteer cavalry regiment was formed in 1898 to fight in the Spanish-American War.

Roosevelt was selected as the colonel of the regiment, and he led them to victory at the Battle of San Juan Hill.

This book tells the story and struggles of this untrained group of volunteers. It showcases what they faced as they helped lead the U.S. to victory in the Spanish-American war.

21. Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker

Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Written By: Stacy A. Cordery

Published: 2007

Pages: 483

Alice Roosevelt Longworth was one of the most fascinating and influential women of her time. As a daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, she spent most of her teenage years in the White House and developed a reputation as a fiercely independent woman with a sharp wit.

After leaving the White House, Alice leveraged her political connections to become one of the most influential women in Washington.

This book talks about her childhood, her time in the White House, and the ups and downs she experienced throughout her adult life.

It’s a fascinating look at Roosevelt's oldest child and the only child with his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt.

22. Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America's Imperial Dream

Honor in the Dust

Written By: Gregg Jones

Published: 2012

Pages: 430

In 1898, the Spanish-American War catapulted the United States into a new role on the world stage. The war fought in Cuba, and the Philippines was a turning point for America, as it demonstrated its military might and revealed its willingness to intervene in international affairs.

In Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America's Imperial Dream, Gregg Jones tells the story of one of America's most controversial wars and examines how Theodore Roosevelt's actions affected his legacy.

The book focuses on what happened during the Spanish-American War, including the abuses reported in the Philippines about the U.S. Military.

Jones’ book provides a thorough examination of this complex and often misunderstood chapter in American history.

23. The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America's Greatest Political Family

The Wars of the Roosevelts

Written By: William J. Mann

Published: 2016

Pages: 608

The Roosevelts were a powerful American family whose members held prominent positions in politics and business for more than a century.

The dynasty began with Theodore Roosevelt, who served as 26th president of the United States and continued with his nephew Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was elected to four terms as president.

Along the way, the Roosevelts faced their share of scandals and controversies, but they also left an indelible mark on American history.

The book goes into more detail on the lives of others in the Roosevelt family, including Eleanor, Teddy Roosevelt's children, and Elliott Roosevelt Mann, Eleanor's illegitimate half-brother.

24. Theodore Roosevelt in the Badlands: A Young Politician's Quest for Recovery in the American West

Theodore Roosevelt in the Badlands

Written By: Roger L. Di Silvestro

Published: 2011

Pages: 353

In the summer of 1884, Theodore Roosevelt arrived in the Badlands of North Dakota. He was a young, energetic politician on the hunt for adventure and recovery from his recent loss of support from the GOP.

The rugged landscape and unforgiving weather of the Badlands suited Roosevelt's temperament. He found solace in nature and a renewed sense of purpose.

In the years following his visit to North Dakota, Roosevelt would become one of the most influential politicians in America, serving as president of the United States.

This book covers his experiences in the Badlands. It also shows how it shaped who he was as a leader and helped him rebound from personal disappointment.

25. How Wall Street Created a Nation: J.P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt, and the Panama Canal

How Wall Street Created a Nation

Written By: Ovidio Diaz-Espino

Published: 2014

Pages: 276

This book offers a take on what really happened behind the scenes when the U.S. acquired the rights to build the Panama Canal. You'll read more about how J.P. Morgan and a group of Wall Street financiers stepped in to acquire the rights to build the canal when a French company went bankrupt.

It's a well-researched and very different take on the history of this deal with the U.S., what happened in Columbia to allow this to happen, and the early days after the formation of the Republic of Panama.

Books Written by Theodore Roosevelt

In addition to being a popular president to write about, Roosevelt also wrote 47 books. Some are out of print, but there are some that you can still read.

A few of these have been recently edited, but all were originally written by him.

Below you will find two lists. The first is a list of 10 books you can still find that I think you will enjoy. The second list is all of his other books. Some you can still find, but they aren’t as popular as my first ten recommendations.

These are ten that I think you will enjoy.

1. Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography (1913)

2. The Rough Riders (1899)

3. The Strenuous Life (1899)

4. Through the Brazilian Wilderness (1914)

5. The Naval War of 1812, Part I and Part II (1882)

6. African Game Trails (1910)

7. Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail (1888)

8. Hunting Trips of a Ranchman (1885)

9. Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children, this one is also listed above but wanted to include it in this list in case you are only looking for books written by Theodore Roosevelt (1919)

10. The Wilderness Hunter (1893)

This list includes the rest of his works.

1. Thomas H. Benton. American Statesmen (1886)

2. Essays on Practical Politics (1888)

3. Gouverneur Morris: The Study of His Life and Work (1888)

4. The Winning of the West, Volume I: From the Alleghanies to the Mississippi (1889)

5. The Winning of the West, Volume II: In the Current of the Revolution (1889)

6. New York. Historic Towns (1891)

7. American Big Game Hunting, written with George Bird Grinnell (1893)

8. The Winning of the West, Volume III: The War in the Northwest (1894)

9. Hero Tales from American History, written with Henry Cabot Lodge (1895)

10. Hunting in Many Lands, written with George Bird Grinnell (1895)

11. The Winning of the West, Volume IV (1896)

12. American Ideals (1897).

13. Trail and Campfire, written with George Bird Grinnell (1897)

14. Some American Game (1897)

15. American Naval Policy: As Outlined in the Messages of the Presidents of the United States. Washington, D.C. (1897)

16. Oliver Cromwell (1900)

17. The Naval Operations of the War between Great Britain and the United States, 1812–1815 (1901)

18. The Deer Family (1902)

19. Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter (1905)

20. Good Hunting: In Pursuit of Big Game in the West (1907)

21. Outlook Editorials (1909)

22. African and European Addresses (1910)

23. American Problems (1910)

24. The New Nationalism (1910)

25. The Conservation of Womanhood and Childhood (1912)

26. Realizable Ideals: Earl Lectures of Pacific Theological Seminary (1912)

27. History as Literature and Other Essays (1913)

28. Progressive Principles (1913)

29. Life-Histories of African Game Animals, Volume I, written with Edmund Heller (1914)

30. Life-Histories of African Game Animals, Volume II, written with Edmund Heller (1914)

31. America and the World War (1915)

32. Fear God and Take Your Own Part (1916)

33. A Book Lover's Holidays in the Open (1916)

34. The Foes of Our Own Household (1917)

35. National Strength and International Duty (1917)

36. The Great Adventure: Present-Day Studies in American Nationalism (1918)