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Rough Riders    by Mark Lee Gardner order for
Rough Riders
by Mark Lee Gardner
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

No doubt you have heard about Theodore Roosevelt's famous charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba with his legendary cowboy regiment dubbed the Rough Riders. If you'd like to know more about this famous event and also separate fact from the fiction that has appeared over the years, this is the book to consult.

Most biographies on TR touch on his day fighting in Cuba but don't go into detail or give the complete story. Mark Lee Gardner makes this event the subject of this book and explains how the regiment was formed and trained and what also happened in the days and months after the famous charge against the Spanish forces in Cuba.

The author dispels the myth the unit was composed of just westerners. There were Ivy Leaguers and Eastern clubmen, actors, painters, barbers and lawyers. As you read this entertaining and information packed narrative you'll also learn that the Rough Riders' efforts were augmented by the assistance of the famed African-American cavalry known as the Buffalo Soldiers.

The charge up San Juan Hill is just part of the story of Roosevelt's Cuban exploits which made him a national hero. He is the only president to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor as well.

With just three weeks of actual training and only six weeks in Cuba, it is really remarkable that the Rough Riders had such an impact on war and Roosevelt's career afterwards. But, as you'll see, not only was Roosevelt a man of action but he also knew how to manipulate the press. Thanks to all the stories that appeared about the Rough Riders' exploits and the book Roosevelt wrote as well, this regiment became the most famous unit engaged in the short war with Spain. In fact, there was a certain amount of resentment because of all the attention the regiment garnered.

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