October 26, 2021

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When a President Wrote for the Ebook Overview

When a President Wrote for the Book Review

Previous presidents and soon-to-be presidents have lengthy written for the Ebook Overview — Herbert Hoover, Invoice Clinton, John F. Kennedy. The very first one to take action, although, was Theodore Roosevelt, on Oct. 13, 1918. It was clearly fairly a coup for the Ebook Overview, then simply over 20 years outdated, to influence the previous president to assessment “Jungle Peace,” a brand new quantity from the explorer and naturalist William Beebe concerning the jungles of Guyana.

To say that Roosevelt liked the guide is an understatement. “Mr. Beebe’s quantity is among the uncommon books which characterize a constructive addition to the sum whole of real literature,” he wrote. “In it are data of extraordinary scientific curiosity, in language which has all of the appeal of an essay of Robert Louis Stevenson. He tells of hen and beast and plant and bug. … No matter he touches he turns into the gold of fact rightly interpreted and vividly set forth — as witness his extraordinary account of the sleeping parlor of sure attractive tropical butterflies.”

The “Jungle Peace” assessment appeared within the Ebook Overview’s annual fall preview problem. In keeping with an editor’s notice, paper shortages and “the good change, because the warfare, of publishers’ output” compelled the Ebook Overview to sharply curtail the variety of titles featured — solely 100, as a substitute of the customary 300 or 500. House was at such a premium within the problem that even the previous president was apparently given a phrase depend; his assessment ended on the entrance web page as a substitute of continuous inside, as may need been anticipated.

“If I had area I want to give an summary of the entire guide,” Roosevelt wrote in a considerably hasty, tacked-on conclusion. “As it’s I merely advise all those that love good books, excellent books, directly to get this guide of Mr. Beebe’s.”

Tina Jordan is the deputy editor of the Ebook Overview and co-author of “The New York Occasions Ebook Overview: 125 Years of Literary Historical past,” which can be printed on Nov. 2.

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