The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981 Page: 255

Book Reviews

The Bull Moose Years: Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party,
By John Allen Gable. (Port Washington, New York: National
University Publications, Kennikat Press Corporation, 1978. Pp.
xi+ 302. Preface, illustrations, epilogue, bibliographic references,
index. $15.)
Most historians have regarded the Progressive party of 1912 to 1916
as little more than the lengthened shadow of Theodore Roosevelt. In
this new study of The Bull Moose Years, however, John Allen Gable
contends that the party was also a national movement, "one of the most
effective pressure groups in American history, as well as the source for
many reforms in later decades" (p. x). To sustain this thesis, Gable has
written a book that covers the Progressives from such ineffectual politi-
cal endeavors as Cecil A. Lyon's branch in Texas to the more viable
state parties in the Midwest and on the Pacific Coast. The major
sources for the book are the records of the Progressive party in the
Roosevelt Collection at Harvard and the collection of the Roosevelt
Papers at the Library of Congress. The result of Gable's study is a use-
ful volume that takes the story of the Bull Moose campaigns well be-
yond the outdated scholarship of the 1940s and 195os.
Gable did not, however, research as widely as he might have. It
would have been an arduous chore to have examined such collections
as the papers of Gifford and Amos Pinchot, William Allen White,
James R. Garfield, Miles Poindexter, Hiram Johnson, Henry Cabot
Lodge, and others, but no comprehensive overview of Progressive for-
tunes is possible without them. A relatively small regional collection,
such as the Thomas B. Neuhausen Papers at the University of Oregon,
can clarify national developments. Thus, Gable's narrative is rather
thin on certain key points (including the background of Roosevelt's
course before the Republican convention of June, 1912), somewhat
misleading on the delegate struggle at Chicago, and not definitive with
regard to the ideological and power struggles at the Progressive con-
clave in August, 1912.
The author, who is the executive director of the Theodore Roosevelt
Association, is most persuasive about the national consequences of Pro-
gressive agitation in his chapter on the 1913 campaigns. His tracing of
the various forms of the New Nationalism is illuminating. Between the
lines, more evidence surfaces for Roosevelt's consistently opportunistic
course on the protective tariff. Gable does not take sufficient account


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981, periodical, 1980/1981; Austin, Texas. ( accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.