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Timothy Judd Stiles
Unknown institution
The Believer: Theodore Roosevelt and the Reinvention of American Democracy

Research and writing leading to publication of a comprehensive, one-volume biography of American president Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919).

The Believer will be a comprehensive one-volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt, to be written in a literary style for the general public while incorporating the latest historiography. Drawing on extensive primary-source research, it will examine Roosevelt as a figure deeply rooted in older schools of liberal thought, Whig and Republican party philosophies, and New York merchant-patrician traditions of social leadership, showing how he synthesized these with antimonopoly politics, social science, and a belief in the human capacity to better the world through democratic action. In many ways, this was part of a reinvention of democracy. The book will also explore the unintended and undesirable consequences, including a disengagement from politics and government on the part of the partisan rank-and-file as civil-service reform eroded older spoils-system operations, and the disturbing application of specious scientific thinking to support eugenics and racial bigotry.

Project fields:
Intellectual History; Political History; U.S. History

Public Scholars

Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2018 – 8/31/2019