The surprising story of intrepid naturalist Theodore Roosevelt and how his lifelong passion for the natural world set the stage for America’s wildlife conservation movement.
Perhaps no American president is more associated with nature and wildlife than Theodore Roosevelt, a prodigious hunter and adventurer and an ardent conservationist. We think of Roosevelt as an original, yet in The Naturalist, Darrin Lunde shows how from his earliest days Roosevelt actively modeled himself in the proud tradition of museum naturalists – the men who pioneered a key branch of American biology through their desire to collect animal specimens and develop a taxonomy of the natural world. The influence these men would have on Roosevelt would shape not just his personality but his career, informing his work as a politician and statesman and ultimately affecting generations of Americans’ relationships to this country’s wilderness.
Pulling from Roosevelt’s diaries and expedition journals, Lunde constructs a brilliantly researched, singularly insightful history that reveals the roots of Roosevelt’s enduring naturalist legacy through the group of little-known men whose work and lives defined his own.