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In 1898, as the Spanish-American War was escalating, Theodore Roosevelt assembled an improbable regiment of Ivy Leaguers, cowboys, Native Americans, African-Americans, and Western Territory land speculators. This group of men, which became known as the Rough Riders, trained for four weeks in the Texas desert and then set sail for Cuba. Over the course of the summer, Roosevelt’s Rough Riders fought valiantly, and sometimes recklessly, in the Cuban foothills, incurring casualties at a far greater rate than the Spanish.
Roosevelt kept a detailed diary from the time he left Washington until his triumphant return from Cuba later that year. The Rough Riders was published to instant acclaim in 1899. Robust in its style and mesmerizing in its account of the battle, it is exhilarating, illuminating, and utterly essential reading for every armchair historian and at-home general.
The books in the Modern Library War series have been chosen by series editor Caleb Carr according to the significance of their subject matter, their contribution to the field of military history, and their literary merit.