The Bully Pulpit# Book Summary - The Bully Pulpit# Book explained in key points
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The Bully Pulpit# summary

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism

4.7 (13 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

'The Bully Pulpit' by Doris Kearns Goodwin is a non-fiction book that explores Theodore Roosevelt's presidency and his friendship with William Howard Taft. It highlights their progressive reforms and their eventual falling out, leading to a split in the Republican Party.

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    The Bully Pulpit#
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    Theodore Roosevelt was widely popular and enacted great changes for the United States.

    In 1901, an anarchist assassinated William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States. He was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt, who, at the age of 42, was the country’s youngest president to date.

    When Roosevelt took office, the country wasn’t faced with war, a revolution or an economic crisis; however, he was still confronted with a serious challenge: poorly regulated corporations had begun expanding rapidly after the Industrial Revolution, at the expense of the people.

    Entire industries, such as the meat industry, were now controlled by large trusts, which could set unreasonable prices and unfair trade conditions. The six largest beef packers, which included Armour & Co. and Swift & Co., were secretly rigging the prices of meat. Costs rose so precipitately that poor families could barely afford it.

    Furthermore, these companies weren’t bound by regulations on safety or payment. Workers suffered in dangerous conditions, for long hours and little pay. Even food and drugs were unregulated. Expanding industries plundered natural resources, destroying forests and contaminating water reserves.

    By setting up an ethical framework for the American economy, Roosevelt sought to change all this. He wanted to set fair conditions to regulate the relationships between consumers, workers and businesses.

    So Roosevelt began fighting corruption by intervening when trusts threatened to control industries. In 1905, for example, he had his attorney general file a suit that broke the beef trust apart.

    Roosevelt also strengthened labor rights, imposed limits on the length of the workday, preserved vast forests and began regulating the food and drug industry. In 1906, Congress passed the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act, both of which aimed to protect consumers from spoiled or dangerous goods.

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    What is The Bully Pulpit# about?

    The Bully Pulpit (2013) follows three intricately linked strands of American history: the life of president Theodore Roosevelt, the emergence of a class of progressive investigative journalists, and the life of William Howard Taft and his complicated relationship with Roosevelt.

    The Bully Pulpit# Review

    The Bully Pulpit (2013) by Doris Kearns Goodwin sheds light on the transformative era of President Theodore Roosevelt's administration, focusing on his collaboration with prominent investigative journalist, Joseph Pulitzer. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • Offers a comprehensive exploration of the Progressive Era, providing insight into its political, economic, and social dynamics.
    • Presents a vivid portrayal of the dynamic relationship between Roosevelt and Pulitzer, showcasing their influence on American journalism and politics.
    • Blends meticulous research with engaging storytelling, making the historical events come alive and keeping readers engrossed in this remarkable period of American history.

    Best quote from The Bully Pulpit#

    Just as we must conserve our men, women and children, so we must conserve the resources of the land on which they live. - Theodore Roosevelt

    —Doris Kearns Goodwin
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    Who should read The Bully Pulpit#?

    • People interested in American history
    • Those curious about the relationship between journalism and politics
    • Anyone wanting to know more about Theodore Roosevelt or William Howard Taft

    About the Author

    Doris Kearns Goodwin is a historian, political commentator and the bestselling author of several presidential biographies. Her book, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for History.

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    The Bully Pulpit# FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Bully Pulpit#?

    The main message of The Bully Pulpit is a fascinating exploration of the relationships between power, politics, and journalism in the Progressive Era.

    How long does it take to read The Bully Pulpit#?

    The reading time for The Bully Pulpit varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Bully Pulpit# a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Bully Pulpit is worth reading as it offers rich insights into the dynamics of power and the role of the media in shaping national politics and policies.

    Who is the author of The Bully Pulpit#?

    The author of The Bully Pulpit is Doris Kearns Goodwin.

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