Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense

Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense

The Courtroom Battle to Save His Legacy

Book - 2019
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Baker & Taylor
Chronicles the epic 1915 libel case in which Theodore Roosevelt, weighing a last presidential run, turned on former allies to challenge corruption in the political party that made him.


2020 Audie Finalist&;History/Biography

A Mental Floss Book to Read in Summer 2019

&;Gripping.&; Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense is a must-read.&; &;NPR

A President on Trial. A Reputation at Stake.

ABC News legal correspondent and host of LIVE PD Dan Abrams reveals the story of Teddy Roosevelt&;s last stand&;an epic courtroom battle against corruption&;in this thrilling follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Lincoln&;s Last Trial.

&;No more dramatic courtroom scene has ever been enacted,&; reported the Syracuse Herald on May 22, 1915 as it covered &;the greatest libel suit in history,&; a battle fought between former President Theodore Roosevelt and the leader of the Republican party.

Roosevelt , the boisterous and mostly beloved legendary American hero, had accused his former friend and ally, now turned rival, William Barnes of political corruption. The furious Barnes responded by suing Roosevelt for an enormous sum that could have financially devastated him. The spectacle of Roosevelt defending himself in a lawsuit captured the imagination of the nation, and more than fifty newspapers sent reporters to cover the trial. Accounts from inside and outside the courtroom combined with excerpts from the trial transcript give us Roosevelt in his own words and serve as the heart of Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense.

This was Roosevelt&;s final fight to defend his political legacy, and perhaps regain his fading stature. He spent more than a week on the witness stand, revealing hidden secrets of the American political system, and then endured a merciless cross-examination. Witnesses including a young Franklin D. Roosevelt and a host of well-known political leaders were questioned by two of the most brilliant attorneys in the country.

Following the case through court transcripts, news reports, and other primary sources, Dan Abrams and David Fisher present a high-definition picture of the American legal system in a nation standing on the precipice of the Great War, with its former president fighting for the ideals he held dear.

& Taylor

The best-selling authors of Lincoln's Last Trial vibrantly chronicle the epic 1915 libel case in which Theodore Roosevelt, weighing a last presidential run, turned on former allies to challenge corruption in the political party that made him. 300,000 first printing.

Publisher: Toronto, Ontario :, Hanover Square Press,, [2019]
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781335016447
Branch Call Number: 973.911 ABR
Characteristics: 379 pages :,illustrations ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Fisher, David - Author


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Aug 24, 2019

You have to want to know the hour-by-hour details of the trial.

Aug 04, 2019

Fascinating account of Teddy Roosevelt's court fight to show he did not libel a former friend when he wrote of political corruption in New York State. The authors filtered the immense volume of documentation and give us a comprehensive narrative of what happened. Interspersed are explanations of the legal realities of the day, historical background, Teddy Roosevelt's persona, and clarifications that are required for a modern non-legal trained reader. The trial itself was setting libel legal precedent, since few cases had ever been tried--especially with the defendant being a former President of the United States, and the convolutions of the 6 week trial were highlighted and demonstrated enough to get the feel, but not to the point of tedium, of the proceedings. The author's 'insider view' of the legal teams and the judge had the reader joining them in the twists and turns of testimony and the legal process. This trial was the main focus of the nation until a German U-Boat sunk the Lusitania and discussions of the US entry into WWI shared the headlines. TR made his opinion known, despite the potential negative impact on the trial's verdict.

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