Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough
(Simon & Schuster, 2001, 460 pages)
Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough is an interesting biography of young Theodore Roosevelt that reads like a novel. This biography covers Roosevelt’s “growing up” years beginning by painting a picture of a 10 year old asthmatic child and ending with the child’s transformation into a grown man with political ambitions. Along the way, McCullough also describes the rest of Roosevelt’s immediate family. McCullough goes into detail describing Teddy Roosevelt’s father (the first Theodore Roosevelt, whom Teddy adores), his mother, Mittie (a vibrant Southern belle), and Roosevelt’s two sisters and a brother.
Mornings on Horseback is a well-researched book which presents a vivid picture of life in the world of the 1860s-1880s when Teddy Roosevelt grew up. McCullough gives the reader a glimpse into life in New York in the 1800s as it was experienced by the city’s well-to-do families. McCullough pieces together information from numerous family letters, diaries, friend and newspaper accounts, and other research documents to write a seamless story of the youth of a future president.
David McCullough is an award-winning author, including a Pulitzer Prize for his work about another president, Truman. His clear, well-paced writing makes Mornings on Horseback a pleasure to read. This book is recommended for U.S. History lovers, readers of biography, and anyone who enjoys a well-written piece of literature.