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Theodore RooseveltPreacher of Righteousness$
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Joshua David Hawley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300120103

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300120103.001.0001

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(p.260) Epilogue
Theodore Roosevelt

Joshua David Hawley

Yale University Press

In so many ways, Theodore Roosevelt was an American icon with an American mind. He captured the imagination of his countrymen with his stirring sermons for righteous living, and his calls for a renewed focus on the meaning and practice of democratic liberty. Roosevelt also caught the nation's sudden and intense concern for the preservation of self-government. He recognized the basic and enduring problems of liberal democracy, addressing them with his own brand of politics, and drew no distinction between the race acting as a whole and the national government. Roosevelt's nationalist regulatory policies were adapted by Woodrow Wilson and his Democratic Party to the logic of Wilsonian individualism. Roosevelt's ideas were embraced by succeeding leaders such as Herbert Hoover and Ronald Reagan. Despite his political failures and personal shortcomings, his repulsive racialism and statism, and his obsession with power, Roosevelt's politics remains a promising proposition for America's future.

Keywords:   Roosevelt's politics, Theodore Roosevelt, democratic liberty, self-government, liberal democracy, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Ronald Reagan, racialism, statism

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