Theodore Roosevelt is remembered as America's "cowboy" president—a Rough Rider who derived his political wisdom from a youth spent in the untamed American West. But while the great outdoors certainly helped shape Roosevelt's identity, the author of Hot Time in the Old Town argues here that it was his early political career in New York City that made Roosevelt the progressive president we celebrate today. Taking on local Republican factions and Tammany Hall Democrats alike, he combated the city's rampant corruption and guided New York City through the perils of rapid urbanization and the challenges of accommodating an influx of immigrants—experiences that would serve him well as president of the United States.
"[Edward] Kohn shows us the ways Roosevelt both shaped and was shaped by the city.... He was not a cowboy after all, but an adroit politician who 'carefully calculated what was practicable,' and Kohn persuades us that New York was Roosevelt's prep school for the presidency."—NYTBR