The Naturalist: A Review


Hobbies can have amazing results. Some may enjoy creating paintings and sell them for a living, while others may enjoy cooking and publish cookbooks and maybe teach others how to prepare delicious meals. For Theodore Roosevelt, nature was his thing. At an early age, Mr. Roosevelt developed a love for all animals, great and small. He had asthma and was limited in what he could do. Staying indoors was the safest option at the time. Didn’t stop him from being curious about animals, though. He even carried the love into his presidency.

Mr. Roosevelt would kill animals and then stuff them and keep a collection. He’d study their physical features as well as their habitats. He eventually contributed the Natural History Museum in New York and the Smithsonian in DC. The specimens were carefully prepped for shipping from expeditions in Africa and in the Midwestern United States. At the time, hunting for sport was accepted.

Mr. Roosevelt was the first to think about establishing national parks and also limiting the duration one could hunt. Hence, the hunting seasons we have today. He didn’t believe in wiping out entire species. He did, however, believe in bring the animals to the people to observe and see firsthand what they were like. His passion was passed down to his son, Kermit, who accompanied him on an African hunting trip.

Mr. Roosevelt didn’t allow his poor health to stop him from enjoying all of his interests. He kept moving forward. Darrin Lunge, the author, did an excellent job of presenting our former president in a humane light. Now, we know he was a pioneer of sorts, turning a hobby into something real for everyone to enjoy.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books.

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