The Roosevelt Family of Sagamore Hill Critical Context - Essay

Hermann Hagedorn

Critical Context

After Edith Roosevelt’s death in 1948, Sagamore Hill was acquired by the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Association. It was opened to the public in 1953 by another popular president, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Hagedorn wrote a guide book to Sagamore Hill for the public in that year, and the publication of The Roosevelt Family of Sagamore Hill the following year was a logical outgrowth of the now public status of the Roosevelt home at Oyster Bay.

Although Hagedorn’s The Roosevelt Family of Sagamore Hill was not written for young adults, it is easy to see why it has become a classic for them, as well as for older readers. By focusing on the lives and personalities of a famous family, perhaps the United States’ first First Family because of the print media revolution that had recently taken place, the author presents the picture of an important American historical figure. Reading Hagedorn’s pages, it is impossible not to wish one could have known Roosevelt and to have lived part of one’s life in the house known as Sagamore Hill. There are more recent biographies and many other studies of Roosevelt, but Hagedorn’s readable book is still an excellent introduction for young adults to one of the most popular American presidents and his family.