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Book 5 of 2014 – Theodore Roosevelt and the Assassin – Gerard Helferich









John Wilkes Booth

Ok so which of these men do you recognize?? I know that I would probably have a hard time identifying any of them. Each of these four men disrupted American politics between the years 1865 to 1912. Three were successful in their assassination attempts and assassinated an US President, while the fourth made an unsuccessful attempt to kill a candidate for President. They are clockwise from 3 o’clock – Charles_J_Guiteau assassin of President James Garfield, John Wilkes Booth – President Lincoln, Leon 

Theodore Roosevelt and the AssassinCzolgosz assassin of President William McKinley and finally the subject of Book 5 for 2014 -Gerard Helferich’s Theodore Roosevelt and the Assassin: Madness, Vengeance, and the Campaign of 1912, – John F. Schrank. I really don’t remember learning much about this assassination attempt. I guess it was because Teddy was a candidate at the time and not the President, but the book was an account of eastern half of the US as he tries to find a location to do the deed. After missing Roosevelt during his trip across the southern part of the US – Schrank meets up with him in Milwaukee. Much of the book is based on the notes that Schrank left behind and eyewitness accounts of the people he ran into on his quest.

What was interesting to me throughout the book was the similarity of the economic conditions between then and now – overall it’s still a fight between the haves and the have nots! Back then the haves lost – today I think the haves are winning and the political clout that the haves possess now because of the Citizens United ruling may just allow them to keep on winning until there are only Princes and Paupers left in our county!!

Anyway I thought that the book was a good glimpse into the mind of John Schrank and the 1912 election. Roosevelt’s action after the shooting was particularly interesting! I think my next historical reads my be Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit or one of the newer Woodrow Wilson biographies!!