Age Level: Adult
In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt had his eyes set on a third presidential term. As the candidate on the Progressive Party or Bull-Moose Party ticket, Roosevelt planned to tour the entire country, making speeches and promoting the ideals and values of the Progressive Party. John Schrank, a New Yorker from Bavaria, felt no one should seek a third term as President. Schrank decided he must assassinate Roosevelt to teach Americans that no third term seeker should be allowed in the United States. Helferich follows these two individuals as their paths converge in September and October 1912, leading to the assassination attempt on October 14, 1912, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
I knew very little about this assassination attempt prior to reading this book. Overall, I found the book to be informative, well-written and truly fascinating. Helferich has crafted a well-flowing nonfiction narrative that grabbed my interest and should grab the interest of anyone interested in presidential histories, political histories, and/or United States histories. Each chapter reflects another day or another week on the campaign trail and follows the movements of Roosevelt and Schrank in this time frame; this construction makes readers feel like they are part of the journey. Photographs scattered throughout the book add to the narrative, allowing readers to see people and places as they are discussed in the narrative. A list of sources and a bibliography appear at the end of the book.
Incidentally, anyone who enjoyed Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard and would like to read a similar title should check out this book.
Reviewed by Jessica