TR’s Last War:
Theodore Roosevelt, The Great War,
and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy
From David Pietrusza,
the award-winning author
The Year of the
Six Presidents
David Pietrusza
Winner of the
2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards
Silver Medal for US History.
Finalist, the Theodore Roosevelt Association Book Prize
#1 Top Read of 2018-POTUS History Geeks Blog
Featured on C-SPAN BookTV

An amazingly fresh approach to a much covered subject….

A riveting new account of Theodore Roosevelt’s impassioned crusade for
military preparedness as America fitfully stumbles into World War I,
spectacularly punctuated by his unique tongue-lashings of the vacillating
Woodrow Wilson, his rousing advocacy of a masculine, pro-Allied
“Americanism,” a death-defying compulsion for personal front-line combat, a
perilously rapprochement with GOP power brokers—and, yes, perhaps, even
another presidential campaign. Roosevelt is a towering Greek god of war. But
Greek gods begat Greek tragedies. His own entreaties to don the uniform are
rebuffed, and he remains stateside. But his four sons fight “over there” with
heartbreaking consequences: two are wounded; his youngest and most
loved child dies in aerial combat. Yet, though grieving and weary, TR may yet
surmount everything with one monumentally odds-defying last triumph.
Poised at the very brink of a final return to the White House, death stills his
indomitable spirit.

TR’s Last War unveils a sweeping epic not of a lion in winter but a Bull Moose
bellowing at a blazing global inferno’s very gates—and ready for one final
stampede in.

Praise for
TR's Last War:

  • "magisterially rigorous ... Pietrusza's prose is sharply buoyant and
    transparent ... the story unfolds almost in novelistic fashion ... a fine
    scholarly achievement: psychologically searching, scrupulously
    devoted to accuracy, and dramatically gripping.... captivating"
    Kirkus Reviews

  • "Heart-breaking, thought provoking and gripping with a large measure of
    wit, David Pietrusza's new "TR's Last War" transports us to those few
    tragic years, 1916-1919,when America faced two visions of the future.
    Woodrow Wilson's oratorical Utopianism. Or Theodore Roosevelt's Bully
    Pulpit chauvinism. The outcome was a surprise."
    Syndicated Radio Host John Batchelor

  • "a breathless tour de force . . . a fascinating read, generously mixing
    manly doses of war, death, politics, and personal ambition."
    The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

  • "Get [David] Pietrusza's new book, 'TR's Last War' today!"
    CNN Contributor Matt K. Lewis

  • "absolutely terrific. All sorts of new info about Teddy Roosevelt and a
    time in his life very few people know about. . . . I can't recommend this
    gem . . . enough. It's absolutely wonderful."
    Frank Morano (AM970, NYC)

  • "As much biography as history, David Pietrusza's book reveals the man
    and his world in meticulous and scrupulous complexity. . . . a riveting
    narrative that does full justice to the triumphs and the sorrows of
    Theodore Roosevelt's life."
    The University Bookman

  • "David Pietrusza has that rare gift of having history read like a novel. The
    insults, the egos, the triumphs are all there as we read about the most
    colorful of all presidents."
    Author Michael Malice

  • "penetrating . . .incisive . . . Pietrusza . . . firmly guides us through the ins
    and outs of Roosevelt's tightly woven rug of life with impeccable

  • "Thank you, David Pietrusza! I have read literally dozens of books about
    TR and have volumes of all his letters, so what a joy to uncover new
    views of his majestic life in TR's Last War."
    Dean Karayanis, History Author Show podcast

  • "a great read"
    Author Pat Williams

  • "Yet another outstanding work from an exceptionally talented author.
    Best historical non-fiction of 2018 (so far!) [August 29, 2018]
    ". . . One of Pietrusza's many strengths as a writer is his ability to convey
    to the reader a clear picture of his subject's personality, making us feel
    as if we have an understanding of who the complex and multifaceted
    Roosevelt really was, as if we know TR intimately. His description of
    Roosevelt's last days and the detail of his suffering and incapacity is
    exceptionally set out. Saving the best for last, the author concludes with
    a unique yet well-considered theory about Roosevelt's last days, one
    which Pietrusza acknowledges to be nothing more than speculation,
    submitted for the reader to consider and do with what he or she will. It is
    delicious food for thought and is a fitting dessert to a delectable
    historical biography.
    "In light of David Pietrusza's past successes as an author writing about
    presidential history, one wonders what he will do next and how he can
    possibly top (or even equal) his previous work. That is something to
    wonder about in the context of his next book. In TR's Last War, he once
    again lives up to his literary gold standard of making the history of past
    presidents come to life in a manner that engages and delights his

  • "This book sparkles. The most enjoyable book about TR I’ve ever read. It
    sparkles with fascinating stories and insights into one of America’s most
    interesting and complex politicians. Unlike other volumes written by
    historians that gush all over their subjects, Pietrusza provides a
    balanced treatment. Well worth reading."
    Ron Faucheux, Author and former editor of Campaigns & Elections

  • "Riveting."
    Blanquita Cullum, former President of the National Association of
    Radio Talk Show Hosts

  • "Delicious."
    Author and podcaster Halli Casser-Jayne

  • "a great book, well worth reading . . . absolutely riveting . . . a brilliant
    John Rothmann (KGO,  San Francisco)

  • "TR's Last War by America's best historian, David Pietrusza, is
    everything you wanted to know about Theodore Roosevelt and about
    America in the beginning of 20th century."
    Author Ivan Denisov

  • "Very eye opening! I love how TR's Last War illuminates a period of TR’s
    life other historians gloss over. TR is less of a hero to me now, but more
    Author Liz Clare

  • "Very well written & engaging. Neither hagiographic nor defaming but
    well balanced"
    Author Talbot Davis

  • "a GREAT read"
    Author and novelist David R. Stokes

  • "I've really enjoyed the book, and I recommend it."
    Bob Cudmore, "The Historians" Podcast

  • "'TR's Last War' is an insightful read into what political and social life was
    like in our country a century ago. It's well worth the trip."
    "The Village Peephole" Blog, Village Library of Cooperstown (NY)

  • "well-researched, well-written"
    Richard Haven (WFAW, Fort Atkinson, WI)

  • "riveting and readable . . . a fitting companion to Pietrusza's earlier
    Ed Tant, Flagpole Magazine

  • "One of the greatest books on Teddy Roosevelt ever written."
    Jordan Thompson, Reviewer

TR's Last War features an incredible cast of characters including:

  • Theodore and Edith Roosevelt.
  • The  four Roosevelt brothers (Ted Jr., Archie, the moody, alcoholic
    Kermit, and the doomed beloved youngest son Quentin).
  • Fiery daughter Alice Roosevelt "Princess Alice" Longworth.
  • Ambitious young Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • Woodrow and Edith Wilson.
  • Ex-President William Howard "Big Bill" Taft.
  • Controversial media baron William Randolph Hearst.
  • Germany's bombastic Kaiser Wilhelm II.
  • Massachusetts patrician Senator Henry Cabot Lodge.
  • Senators Warren Gamaliel Harding (and his paramour Mrs. Carrie
    Phillips), "Fighting Bob" LaFollette, William E. Borah, and Hiram Johnson.
  • Secretary of State William Jennings "The Great Commoner" Bryan.
  • Anti-war industrialist Henry Ford.
  • Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans "The Bearded Iceberg" Hughes.
  • Fledgling New Republic staffer Walter Lippmann.
  • Shadowy White House advisor Colonel Edward Mandell House.
  • General "Black Jack" Pershing.
  • Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa.
  • Sawdust circuit evangelist Billy Sunday.
  • Labor leader Samuel Gompers
  • Journalist William Allen White.
  • Sculptor-politician Gutzon Borglum.

Along the way you'll also meet:

    TR's sisters Anna and Corinne, Quintin's beloved socialite fiancée Flora
    Payne "Foufie" Whitney, TR's erstwhile friends Elihu Root and Henry
    Stimson, his pro-Preparedness ally Gen. Leonard Wood, Secretary of
    War Newton D. Baker, Progressive Party moneyman George Walbridge
    Perkins, Bull Moose stalwarts Gifford and Amos Pinchot and Harold
    Ickes, old-line GOP bosses Billy Barnes and Boies Penrose, TR's
    roughhouse aide John W. "Mac" McGrath, Wilson White House aide Joe
    Tumulty, New York City Mayor John Purroy "The Boy Mayor" Mitchel,
    TR's deep sea fishing partner Russell J. Coles, his black valet James
    Otis, German propagandist George Sylvester Viereck, Columbia
    University President Nicholas Murray "Nicholas Miraculous" Butler, the
    TR-betrayed candidate Judge Samuel Seabury, Navy Secretary
    Josephus Daniels, accused San Francisco bomber Tom Mooney, TR's
    relentless critic Oswald Garrison Villard, newspapermen Fremont Older
    and Henry Stoddard, mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart, and pro-war
    filmmakers Thomas Dixon and Commodore J. Stuart Blackton.

And some surprise cameos by:

    W. E. B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Georges Clemenceau, Felix
    Frankfurter, Bernard Baruch, Edith Wharton, Owen Wister, Calvin
    Coolidge, Edward Arlington Robinson, Herbert Hoover, Thomas Edison,
    Ida Tarbell, Edna Ferber, Heywood Broun, Carrie Chapman Catt, Capt.
    Eddie Rickenbacker, Madison Grant, Jane Addams, John D. Rockefeller
    Jr., Al Smith, George C. Marshall, Alfred Noyes, Hamlin Garland, H. Rider
    Haggard, Lillian Russell, Will Hays, the two George S. Pattons—and the
    two Eleanor Roosevelts.

ISBN 978-1-4930-2887-0

Available from:

Rights Available: Film/TV, Live Performance
Wilson Media