Dalton Invited to Library of Congress To Honor Roosevelt

Instructor in History and Social Science Kathleen Dalton was invited to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. to discuss her recently-published book, “Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life,” this past Wednesday. The discussion, which commemorates February as Presidents’ Month, was sponsored by the Center for the Book’s “Books and Beyond” author series and was followed by a book signing. The discussion will air on C-Span in March. Chair of the History and Social Science Department Victor Henningsen stressed the significance of such an invitation. “To be asked to go and speak at the Library of Congress is a big deal and a real honor. It’s a very nice tribute to [Dr. Dalton], to her work, and to her book,” he said. On Thursday, Dr. Dalton continued her stay in Washington, D.C. to speak at Politics and Prose, a local bookstore. Dr. Dalton has also travelled nationwide and made several television appearances to promote and discuss her book. In January, “Book TV,” a program on CSpan2, featured a talk by Dr. Dalton about the book, and The History Channel broadcasted a documentary, “Theodore Roosevelt: Roughrider to Rushmore,” that contained comments by Dr. Dalton. She is also scheduled to explain the development of her biography at the Jacksonville, Florida Book Festival. Dr. Dalton began researching Theodore Roosevelt in 1975, while in a doctoral program in history at Johns Hopkins University. According to Theresa Pease, author of an article in the Andover Bulletin, she “was determined to illuminate a TR who was neither the flawless icon of Mt. Rushmore nor the clueless oaf of cartoondom.” Dr. Dalton told the Andover Bulletin that “the task of a biographer is not to perpetuate stereotypes about famous people, but to ask, ‘What made these people get up in the morning? How did they muster up their energy and pull together their creative visions? What differentiated them from their peers? What relationships kept them going? Why didn’t they just become normal people?’” Mr. Henningsen praised Dr. Dalton’s work, saying “everyone should go out and buy a copy.” “It’s a first rate biography of Theodore Roosevelt. It may well be the best single volume treatment of Roosevelt that we have,” he said. Mr. Henningsen noted that the book gives particular attention to Roosevelt’s intellectual growth after the election of 1912 and also covers the 26th president’s relationship with his wife, Edith. “It’s a pleasure to work with such distinguished colleagues. It makes the department an interesting place to be, and we try not to let it go to our heads,” said Mr. Henningsen. Dr. Dalton is currently planning a second book that will relate to subjects she studied while researching Roosevelt. She told the Andover Bulletin that it will be about “a certain group of people during World War I.” Dr. Dalton has been an Instructor in History at the Academy since 1980.