Gessner embarks on a leisurely but consistently interesting journey that follows, more or less, T.R.’s loop around the West. Along the way, we get engaging local color (a gathering of Roosevelt impersonators in North Dakota) and a solid sense of the man: energetic, inquisitive, immune to self-doubt and an ardent lover of nature. Gessner celebrates Roosevelt’s conservation achievements: five national parks, 18 national monuments and the U.S. Forest Service ... Gessner wrestles with these issues thoughtfully, weighing Roosevelt’s accomplishments against the cold and ugly.
... digs deep into a cultural and political history as complex as Roosevelt himself. Insightful, observant and wry, writing with his heart on his well-traveled sleeve and a laser focus on the stunning beauty of the parks, Gessner shares an epic road trip through these storied lands ... Weaving an often candidly critical biography of the 26th president through this account of the parks he created, Gessner eventually arrives at Bears Ears in southeastern Utah.