Sub­texts Mark Lee Gard­ner reads from his Rough Rid­ers: Theodore Roo­sevelt, His Cow­boy Reg­i­ment, and the Im­mor­tal Charge Up San Juan Hill

Pasatiempo - - NEWS - Bully for him

I n 1898, be­fore he be­came the 26th pres­i­dent of the United States, Theodore Roo­sevelt l ed the First United States Vol­un­teer Cav­alry, known as the Rough Rid­ers, dur­ing the Span­ish-Amer­i­can War. Men from Ari­zona, New Mex­ico, Oklahoma, and Texas vol­un­teered in such great num­bers that thou­sands had to be turned away. The men se­lected — called “born ad­ven­tur­ers” by Roo­sevelt — were cow­boys and oth­ers who were com­fort­able with the high tem­per­a­tures and rugged ter­rain they would en­counter in Cuba, as well as lawyers, artists, bar­bers, jew­el­ers, and oth­ers. The Rough Rid­ers re­turned home as war he­roes, and soon Roo­sevelt, or “TR,” be­gan climb­ing the po­lit­i­cal ranks. He was the only Amer­i­can pres­i­dent to re­ceive the Con­gres­sional Medal of Honor, which he was awarded posthu­mously. Many bi­ogra­phies of Roo­sevelt de­vote a chap­ter or two to the Rough Rid­ers, but now Mark Lee Gard­ner ex­plores

them in book-length de­tail, in Rough Rid­ers: Theodore Roo­sevelt, His Cow­boy Reg­i­ment, and the Im­mor­tal Charge Up San Juan Hill (Harper­Collins/ Wil­liam Mor­row, 2016). Gard­ner is the au­thor of two pre­vi­ous non­fic­tion ac­counts

of South­west­ern his­tory — Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the North­field Raid, and the Wild West’s Great­est Es­cape, and To Hell on a Fast Horse: The Un­told Story of Billy the Kid and Pat Gar­rett. In Rough Rid­ers, Gard­ner plunges into the story, syn­the­siz­ing pri­mary source ma­te­rial in­clud­ing let­ters, diaries, and archival news­pa­per re­ports of the pe­riod. The Bat­tle of San Juan Hill saw Rough Rid­ers fight­ing along­side the African-Amer­i­can cav­alry known as the Buf­falo Sol­diers, many of whom were from New Mex­ico. Gard­ner’s is not the staid writ­ing of aca­demic his­to­ri­ans, but the vis­ceral nar­ra­tive style of a fic­tion writer with a true tal­ent for vi­o­lence and war sto­ries. Gard­ner reads from and signs copies of Rough Rid­ers at Col­lected Works Book­store (202 Gal­is­teo St., 505-988- 4226) at 6 p.m. on Thurs­day, May 12. — Jen­nifer Levin

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.