Author David Pietrusza discusses his book, "TR's Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy" at the Torch Club of Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, NY. March 7, 2020. Part 1 of 3.
TR's Last War recounts Theodore Roosevelt’s impassioned crusade for military preparedness as America fitfully stumbles into World War I, spectacularly punctuated by his unique tongue-lashings of the vacillating Woodrow Wilson, his rousing advocacy of a masculine, pro-Allied “Americanism,” a death-defying compulsion for personal front-line combat, a tentative rapprochement with GOP power brokers—and, yes, perhaps, even another presidential campaign. Roosevelt is a towering Greek god of war. But Greek gods begat Greek tragedies. His own entreaties to don the uniform are rebuffed, and he remains stateside. But his four sons fight “over there” with heartbreaking consequences: two are wounded; his youngest and most loved child dies in aerial combat. Yet, though grieving and weary, TR may yet surmount everything with one monumentally odds-defying last triumph. Poised at the very brink of a final return to the White House, death stills his indomitable spirit.