TUESDAY

Until recently, Edmund Morris—the Kenyan-born, South African-educated author who now splits his time between New York and Washington—was best known for Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan and was taken to task by critics for including himself as a fictionalized character in the book. But now that the second of Morris’ two-volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt is in bookstores, the author’s star is ascending once again. Theodore Rex begins where The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (first published in 1979) leaves off—specifically, at 2:15 a.m. on Sept. 14, 1901, when Roosevelt became president of the United States following the assassination of William McKinley. Though it’s far more obscure than his book-length works, the first-rate introduction Morris wrote to a lovely book of Western landscape photographs by Macduff Everton shouldn’t be forgotten. In it, the writer lays bare his affection for the same North Dakota landscape that helped transform TR from privileged Easterner to robust Westerner—and provided two years of solace following the death of the future president’s mother and his young wife. “If it were not for my years in North Dakota,” Morris quotes Roosevelt as writing later in life, “I would never have become President of the United States.” The Everton book was published a year ago, not long after Morris’ Reagan debacle; reading it, one senses that the rough Western landscape served to restore Morris’ own soul as much as it did Roosevelt’s. You can ask him about it when he appears at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 662-7129. (Louis Jacobson)