When Trumpets Call

Theodore Roosevelt After the White House

When Trumpets Call

From the author of the acclaimed Five of Hearts, this highly praised, spell-binding biography is the definitive account of TR's final decade, the most poignant -- and in some ways, the most heroic -- years of his extraordinary life. Drawn from a wealth of new materials, this is a remarkable portrait of a remarkable man.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 512 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684864785 | 
  • March 2006
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Reading Group Guide

When Trumpets Call: Questions for Discussion
1.Author Patricia O'Toole examines what happens to a powerful man when he loses power. Roosevelt was only fifty when he left the White House, and when the press raised questions about the proper role of ex-presidents, he said he could not comment on his predecessors, "but so far as it is concerned with this president, you can say that the United States need do nothing with the ex-president. I will do all the doing that is going to be done myself." What does this reveal about the man?
2. Roosevelt greatly expanded the powers of the presidency. He said "while president I have been president emphatically." In what ways did he expand the job?
3.How does Theodore Roosevelt's Square Deal compare with his fifth cousin Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal? The book states that TR's philosophy of government "was a secular version of the lessons of Sunday School." How so?
4.TR counted the acquisition of the Panama Canal Zone as his greatest presidential achievement. How did this one act benefit the United States? How did it affect U.S. relations with Central America?
5. TR gave unprecedented access to reporters. How did he use the press to his advantage? Compare the muckraking of Roosevelt's day to modern day tabloid journalism. How did his relationship with the press change after his presidency?
6.What's the significance of the epigraph from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "Ulysses": "How dull it is to pause, to make an see more

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The Five of Hearts

About the Author

Patricia O'Toole
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Patricia O'Toole

Patricia O’Toole is the author of five books, including The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made, When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt after the White House, and The Five of Hearts: An Intimate Portrait of Henry Adams and His Friends, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A former professor in the School of the Arts at Columbia University and a fellow of the Society of American Historians, she lives in Camden, Maine.