Bully Pulpit (Goodwin) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
1. Talk about the differences in the economic arena between the early 20th century, the historical period of this book, and the early 21st century. How similar are the issues of economic disparity?

2. Define populism...during Rooevelt and Taft's era and during our own? The same...different? What has spurred the growth of the movement then and now?

3. What role did the press play in the Roosevelt and Taft administrations? What role do the media play today? What exactly is muckraking? Can today's journalists be considered modern muckrakers? Do we have anything comparable to McClure's magazine today?

4. This is the first book in Goodwin's oeuvre that focuses prominently on women: especially Ida Tarbell and the wives of the two presidents. Talk about the ways in which those women made a difference...and talk about the times in which they operated. How amenable was society of powerful women?

5. Of the two primary figures, Roosevelt and Taft, which do you feel made the greatest difference? Which one most impressed you—and why? How did the two men differ in personality, as well as in their political view, tactics, and effectiveness?

6. How would you explain the deterioration of the friendship between two presidents?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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