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Edmund Morris, photo by Leslie Lillien LevyEDMUND MORRIS


NYS Writers Institute, March 15, 2011
8:00 p.m. Reading | Clark Auditorium, NYS Museum, cultural Education Center, Albany, NY

Edmund Morris, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Teddy Roosevelt, and official biographer of Ronald Reagan, will discuss his third and final book on “TR,” Colonel Roosevelt (2010), on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. in the Clark Auditorium, New York State Museum, Cultural Education Center, Madison Avenue in downtown Albany. The event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the Friends of the New York State Library, and is free and open to the public.

Colonel RooseveltEdmund Morris,
presidential biographer, is the author most recently of Colonel Roosevelt (2010), the final volume in his critically acclaimed trilogy on Theodore Roosevelt. The new book examines TR’s post-presidential years, political battles with former friend William Howard Taft, refusal to leave the political arena, declining health, and deliberate attempts to shape his own legacy. The book takes its name from the former president’s preferred title during that period: “Colonel Roosevelt,” a reference to his role in the Spanish-American War.

The Los Angeles Times declared the finished trilogy “masterful…among the truly outstanding biographies of the American presidency.” Janet Maslin of the New York Times said, “Now with Colonel Roosevelt, the magnum opus is complete. And it deserves to stand as the definitive study of its restless, mutable, ever-boyish, erudite and tirelessly energetic subject…. And if this story of a lifetime is his [Morris’s] own life’s work, he has reason to be immensely proud.”

Morris’s first volume, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (1979), received the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. The book presents the epic sweep of Roosevelt’s early, pre-presidential life, from his privileged but sickly childhood to his political career as New York State Legislator, New York City Police Commissioner, Governor and, ultimately, Vice President. The New York Times reviewer called the book, “One of those rare works that is both definitive for the period it covers and fascinating to read for sheer entertainment.” Morris received the L. A. Times Book Award for his second volume, Theodore Rex (2001), which examines Roosevelt’s achievements as President, his “busting” of railroad trusts, efforts to create the Panama Canal, and Nobel Prize-winning work to broker peace during the Russo-Japanese War. The Times (UK) said, “As a literary work on Theodore Roosevelt, it is unlikely ever to be surpassed.”

Morris is also the author of Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan (1999). The only biography ever to be authorized by a sitting president (thirteen years prior to its publication), Dutch generated tremendous controversy among critics, academics, admirers and former members of the Reagan administration. It is told from the point of view of a fictional boyhood associate of Reagan, and incorporates a wide variety of fictional characters, scenes, and historical sources. Morris maintains that he resorted to these devices because he found the president to be an enigmatic and frustrating subject, despite having unprecedented access to his life, friends and archives.

Edmund Morris was born and educated in Kenya and went to college in South Africa. He immigrated to the United States in 1968. In addition to presidential biographies he is the author of Beethoven: The Universal Composer (2005).

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.