Saturday, September 4, 2010

impressively trained and dedicated men

Riding a moose, 1900.

"[Theodore] Roosevelt's example, his style, and his administrative methods made it easy as it was necessary for him to persuade dozens of impressively trained and dedicated men to enter the service of the federal government. In an earlier generation, such men had scorned public life, largely then the preserve of the party faithful who in the discharge of their duties too rarely exhibited purpose, intelligence or energy. Determined to invigorate government, Roosevelt gave public office a fresh mission, 'to look ahead and plan out the right kind of civilization ... to develop from ... wonderful new conditions of vast industrial growth.' His youth and vigor, his zest in experience and in people, captured the imagination of his contemporaries and of younger men who might otherwise have been content, as their fathers had been, with careers in law firms, banks and executive suites. Roosevelt's practice of delegating responsibility to those he trusted also attracted his recruits. Just as he believed in using the full powers of his office, so did he urge them to use theirs."
- John Morton Blum, The Progressive Presidents, p.45