EPISODE 13 The Rough Rider and His Demons (Part 1)

 “You must still have chaos in yourself to be able to give birth to a dancing star” —Friedrich Nietzsche

“History as well as life itself is complicated—neither life nor history is an enterprise for those who seek simplicity and consistency.” — Jared Diamond

He was the first American to receive a brown belt in Judo. 
He won the largest percentage of the vote ever by a third-party candidate.
He once took a bullet to the chest shot at point blank range, and rather than going to the hospital went to deliver a 90 minute speech. 
He survived tragedies that would break lesser men.
He spent his life fighting against the inner demons trying to destroy him. 
He was a perfect embodiment of what Nietzsche probably had in mind when he wrote, “You must still have chaos in yourself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." 
He was a warmonger with a diplomatic tact. He was a hunter and an environmentalist. He was a nerd and an athlete. He flirted with white supremacist ideas and yet was very progressive about race by the standards of his day. He was a big proponent of personal responsibility and supported quasi-Socialist policies.

Love him or hate him, he was larger than life. 

He was Theodore Roosevelt.

In this episode: 

  • A sickly child discovers the joys of the strenuous life
  • Defeating fear by facing fear
  • Having the woman you love die in your arms; into the Dakota wilderness 
  • “A six year old child on steroids” 
  • "Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough" 
  • “Theodore had to hold on to his optimism very tight, otherwise he couldn’t get through the shadows, the darknesses, surrounding him” 
  • Marriage # 2
  • Why telling Roosevelt “It will break you. You will yield. You are but human;” is a bad idea
  • The Rough Riders
  • Going to war against his own party
  • How Thomas Platt’s plan to eliminate Roosevelt gave him the presidency 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com and use the code “daniele” at checkout for a discount. 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/