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[tr-m] Re: TR, Statesman, Romantic

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  • Linda E. Milano
    H.W. Brands never defines what he means by romantic and this inhibits discussion of the subject. Yes, TR had a sense of the tragic, after all, he had
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 20, 1999
      H.W. Brands never defines what he means by "romantic" and this inhibits
      discussion of the subject. Yes, TR had a sense of the tragic, after all, he
      had experienced tragedy as with the death of his first wife. To him,
      tragedy was bound up with mystery but virtually anything, including tragedy,
      could have good consequences. Greg Russell's observations are interesting
      and well worth considering.

      John A. Gable, Ph.D.
      Executive Director TRA@...
      Theodore Roosevelt Association (516) 921-6319
      P.O. Box 719 FAX: (516) 921-6481
      Oyster Bay, NY 11771-0719 www.theodoreroosevelt.org

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Greg Russell <grussell@...>
      To: TRM List <tr-m@egroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, December 19, 1999 10:11 AM
      Subject: [tr-m] TR, Statesman, Romantic

      > Professor Brands does an excellent service by illuminating the different
      > intellectual strands of TR's worldview. I am wondering, however, if the
      > so-called romantic element can ever be fully insulated from other
      > dimensions of a mature realism in politics and diplomacy? One answer
      > might be that international thought categories of realism vs. idealism
      > (or the Hamiltonians vs. Jeffersonians) are not particularly helpful in
      > depicting early twentieth century American leaders (i.e., elements of
      > both--and more--combine in their philosophical and political outlook).
      > This is one of the points that Walter McDougall makes in his broad
      > overview of American diplomatic history (Promised Land, Crusader
      > State). Is it erroneous to suppose that a "sense of the tragic" ever
      > inhered in TR's understanding of the great statesman's dilemma of having
      > to somehow (and usually imperfectly) reconcile the necessities of power
      > and the requirements of principle? He certainly knew about tragedy as a
      > literary motif, from his readings of the Greeks and Shakespeare
      > (although he seems to have been a bit skeptical about some of these
      > works). Many political thinkers have simply relegated the tragic in
      > politics to a hostile and foreign theme in all things American. A few
      > others, like Reinhold Niebuhr (and some of his disciples), tried to make
      > room for it or, at least, take note of it.
      > --
      > Greg Russell, Associate Professor &
      > Director of Graduate Programs
      > Department of Political Science
      > University of Oklahoma
      > Norman
      > http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/R/Gregory.T.Russell-1/
      > Run For Your Life!
      > "Never believe in anything until it has been officially denied."
      > "Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable . . . the art of
      > the next best."
      > --Otto Von Bismarck
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