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Book Cover
Author Lembeck, Harry, 1944-

Title Taking on Theodore Roosevelt : how one Senator defied the President on Brownsville and shook American politics / by Harry Lembeck.

Publication Info. Amherst, New York : Prometheus Books, 2015.


Location Call No. Status
 GDL Central Library Non-Fiction    973.911 LEM    Available
Description 544 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates ; 24 cm
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 511-527) and index.
Contents The iron of the wound enters the soul itself -- "They are shooting us up" -- A special request -- On the ground -- A more aggressive attitude -- The educations of the Rough Rider and the Wizard -- Roosevelt does justice -- Friends of the administration -- These are my jewels -- Two sets of affidavits -- Between two stools -- Grim-visaged war -- Strange fruit -- A different burden of proof -- Cordial cooperation -- Most implicit faith -- What did happen at that Gridiron dinner ...? -- First-class colored men -- Greatest Shepherd -- The soldiers' patron and patronage -- Other coalitions, other fronts -- A face to grace the White House -- Brownsville ghouls -- "Do you care to say anything on the subject?" -- An act of treason -- Roosevelt fatigue -- "Not one particle of regret".
Summary In August 1906, black soldiers stationed in Brownsville, Texas, were accused of going on a lawless rampage in which shots were fired, one man was killed, and another wounded. Because the perpetrators could never be positively identified, President Theodore Roosevelt took the highly unusual step of discharging without honor all one hundred sixty-seven members of the black battalion on duty the night of the shooting. This book investigates the controversial action of an otherwise much-lauded president, the challenge to his decision from a senator of his own party, and the way in which Roosevelt's uncompromising stance affected African American support of the party of Lincoln. Using primary sources to reconstruct the events, attorney Harry Lembeck begins at the end when Senator Joseph Foraker is honored by the black community in Washington, DC, for his efforts to reverse Roosevelt's decision. Lembeck highlights Foraker's courageous resistance to his own president. In addition, he examines the larger context of racism in the era of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois, pointing out that Roosevelt treated discrimination against the Japanese in the West much differently. He also notes often-ignored evidence concerning the role of Roosevelt's illegitimate cousin in the president's decision, the possibility that Foraker and Roosevelt had discussed a compromise, and other hitherto overlooked facts about the case. Sixty-seven years after the event, President Richard Nixon finally undid Roosevelt's action by honorably discharging the men of the Brownsville Battalion. But, as this thoroughly researched and engrossing narrative shows, the damage done to both Roosevelt's reputation and black support for the Republican Party lingers to this day.
Subject Foraker, Joseph Benson, 1846-1917.
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919 -- Adversaries.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1901-1909.
African American soldiers -- Texas -- Brownsville -- History -- 20th century.
Riots -- Texas -- Brownsville -- History -- 20th century.
United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 25th.
Legislators -- United States -- Biography.
United States -- Race relations.
ISBN 9781616149543 (hardback)
161614954X (hardback)
9781616149550 (ebook)

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