American Fascist: The Real Theodore Roosevelt


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There are few figures in our history more badly distorted by worshipful writers than Theodore Roosevelt (TR). As large as he looms in history books, just as enormous have been the distortions in favor of his goodness and greatness. This little book serves as an antidote to those overstatements. It does not pretend to be balanced itself. It serves rather as the balance to those others. What follows is the dark side of TR. And while it is not balanced and thorough in itself, it clearly demonstrates that not only was TR no saint, he was quite the opposite.


American Fascist reveals how TR's early love of war and strong central government developed consistently into a view of ever-increasing government power over business with a strong integration of industry and military. He worked to impose national corporatism and vast regulation. He worked to increase the executive power beyond historical precedent, sometimes bypassing Congress, and claimed to find new powers in the Constitution when needed. He confiscated millions of acres of land and waters for the federal government in the name of conservation. Above all, TR wanted war, war, war to a degree almost impossible to overstate. He desired war almost as a sport, and when not for sport, as a useful spur to industry and national greatness.

While posterity has seen fit to blame Woodrow Wilson for all of the subsequent ills of elitist big-government, he did hardly anything that TR had not done first. This includes the two greatest financial tyrannies signed into law by Wilson: the Income Tax Amendment and the Federal Reserve Act. Both of these were the product of Roosevelt much more than Wilson.

Too often unacknowledged or ignored, TR’s views developed into what would later be called Fascism. He desired national corporatism, fuller regulation of all national corporations by the central government, and in some cases with a fairly overt expression of pure-race nationalism. That is not mere Progressivism; that is Fascism.

American Fascist goes where the worshipful biographies refuse to go: into the depths of the true Theodore Roosevelt.

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