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

Page 64

masterful man, by the man who knows and who can. And it is well that it is so, or we should be in a pretty mess.
  I have spoken at considerable length about Theodore Roosevelt’s early legislative experience because I am concerned about showing how he grew to what he is. Men do not jump up in a night like mushrooms, some good credulous people to the contrary notwithstanding, or shoot up like rockets. If they do, they are apt to come down like sticks. At least Mr. Roosevelt stays up a long time, they will have to admit. I have heard of him being “discovered” by politicians as Civil Service Commissioner, as Police Commissioner, as fitter-out of the navy for the Spanish fight, as Rough-Rider—almost as often as he has been ruined by his vagaries which no one could survive; and I have about made up my mind that politicians are the most credulous of beings, instead of the reverse. The fact is that he is a perfectly logical product of a certain course of conduct deliberately entered upon and faithfully adhered to all through life, as all of us are who have any character worth mentioning. For that is what character means, that a man will