If you live in or around New York City please remember that I will be speaking about the writing and publishing career of Ted Roosevelt at the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace on Saturday 4 March, one week from today. I wrote about his father Theodore Roosevelt’s journalistic career last week. It is more complicated than I can go into here–that’s what the talk is for–but one thread to keep in mind when it comes to the Roosevelt clan is that the written word was important to almost all of them. Ted was an executive at Doubleday in the 1930s, after his stints in Puerto Rico and the Philippines and before he rejoined the Army in 1941. His father knew the Doubledays well and even laid the cornerstone for the publishing house’s Garden City Long Island headquarters when they relocated from New York City in 1910. If you note, in the caption he emphasizes the shift from the city to what was then rural Long Island and what he sees as the positive influence it will have for people and business–like Doubleday–who make that demographic shift. It is not reading too much into it to say he is foreseeing the post-Second World War rise of suburbia. Levittown was in Long Island.
I have been pulling my speaking material together this week and have started gathering the images as well, which I intend to put into a Powerpoint later today. The image above is from the 20 August 1910 Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Roosevelt would have just gotten back from his post-presidential safari in Africa and return swing through Europe, where he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize and attended the funeral of King Edward VII that May. Note the heaviness of Roosevelt’s dark suit, which he is wearing under no shade in the dog days of August. It is lost on us how grueling the speaking circuit can be for politicians.