Will Rogers: His Life and Times Critical Essays

Richard M. Ketchum


(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Will Rogers is not written specifically for the young adult audience; however, its story is an inspiring one of a young man who found it hard to settle down, being too full of energy and high spirits to succeed in school. After literally sleeping in a park in Argentina and wondering whether he would survive, Rogers found a depth in himself and learned what his career would have to be. He found happiness in a job that was not a job to him. He found that it is never too late to become a success, even in the face of the disapproval of others. He learned how important it is to find a career that one likes.

The book contains a wealth of information on a great variety of topics, including American and world history, politics, art, theater cinema, and the lives of the enormous number of people with whom Rogers came in contact. These topics are interwoven with Rogers’ story, making sense of the crusades upon which he embarked and helping to explain the enormous popularity of this individual who interpreted current events for the masses. At times, the detail becomes tedious, and the influence of the archives of the Will Rogers Memorial is apparent, in that a tremendous amount of information is available on Will Rogers. His position in the public eye, along with his voluminous writings and speeches, create a huge reservoir of information on the man.

The book is well organized, and the photographs carry the reader along, providing rests from the detailed historical reading. There are also, however, many wonderful passages full of color. It is impossible, in the latter portion of the book, when he is interacting with the Democratic Party and the upper-level...

(The entire section is 687 words.)