In The Field
By Brian K. Brecht
A birthday present has brought a new perspective on how we see our 26th president. The book “Theodore Roosevelt In the Field” by Michael R. Canfield, highlights the focus Roosevelt had as an outdoorsman and self made naturalist.
Certainly his education, time as a Rough Rider and political life are part of the narrative, but in this telling, they are not the primary focus of the biography. Happily they are there as the backdrop to how and why Roosevelt spent so much time hiking, hunting, and riding through the various wildernesses of the world.
The image of “The Bull Moose” has been ever present when it comes to describing Theodore Roosevelt, but here we see just why that description was so appropriate. It also shows something of the contradiction that existed, if not just for Roosevelt but also the time of the late 1800 and early 1900’s. Something we see even today, the need for conservation, while allowing the hunter and outdoorsman to exist side by side.
One of the more enjoyable aspects of the book highlights the notes and journals Roosevelt had written since his youth. Never realizing the volumes of writing he did not only as a naturalist but also as a professional, writing various articles and books for the likes of Scribbners. The book details his handwritten journals and has inspired us to revisiting our own journals from our various travels.
Whether you enjoy presidential history, science and conservations, or tales of the great outdoors, this book is sure to satisfy.