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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 104

fell powerless. If so, it did more credit to their discernment than I expected ever to have to accord them.
  Two years of travel and writing, of working at the desk and, in between, on the ranch, where the cowboys hailed him joyously; of hunting and play which most people would have called hard work; years during which his “Winning of the West” took shape and grew into his great work. Then, in the third, Washington and the Civil Service Commission.
  I suppose there is scarcely one who knows anything of Theodore Roosevelt who has not got the fact of his being once a Civil Service Commissioner fixed in his mind. That was where the country got its eye upon him; and that, likewise, was where some good people grew the notion that he was a scrapper first, last, and all the time, with but little regard for whom he tackled, so long as he had him. There was some truth in that; we shall see how much. But as to civil service reform, I have sometimes wondered how many there were who knew as little what it really meant as I did until not so very long ago. How many went about with a more or less vague notion that it was