Cover Image: The Strenuous Life

The Strenuous Life

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I have read a lot of books about Theodore Roosevelt, but this is a unique one.  It was interesting to read about the impact he had on the government's involvement into athletics.  President Roosevelt was extremely athletic, as were his children.  It was interesting to see the downside of when his children excelled in sports, as well. This was a great read with unique information that I hadn't read elsewhere.
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The Strenuous Life by Ryan Swanson is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-August.

This book examines the ties between the American government, athletic culture, physical fitness, and sports within the first decade of the 20th century, partly due to Theodore 'TR' Roosevelt. Although it very often goes into relentlessly dense territory when describing the history and rules of a sport within the same chapter of a Roosevelt-attended event or key points in his biography, you're entertained by stories about cabinet members and secret service agents struggling to keep up with Roosevelt; his kids' athletic abilities and endurance, sometimes to their detriment; public school athletic trials, tests, and tournaments; Roosevelt displaying tremendous grit, staying spry, and capable; the popularity of long-distance walking; being offered a golden pass to see any baseball games he wants, but never using it; showing respect, yet non-deference toward the awesomeness that is Jack Johnson; and the national onset of 'neurasthenia' during the Industrial Revolution, which everyone everywhere seems to have had since.
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