"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt, in his "Citizenship in a Republic" speech (delivered in Paris, France in 1910)
It's hard to imagine an American more interesting than Theodore Roosevelt - the youngest man ever to enter the White House up to that time, who stands out as one of the most remarkable peacetime presidents in American history. Mr. Roosevelt once said that "if [Abraham] Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name," and there may actually be some truth in this - presidents who fight a war (particularly a just war) often get credit for this well beyond anything they receive for their other policies; and few could tell you a single thing Lincoln did unrelated to slavery or the Civil War, since these issues overshadow everything else for his presidency. I don't wish to take anything away from Mr. Lincoln (as he is my favorite president), but Theodore Roosevelt was no slouch himself; and the fact that we still remember him - even though he was a peacetime president - testifies strongly to the visibility of his legacy; as few peacetime presidents are remembered more favorably than he is - or, for that matter, remembered at all.