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Spielberg & 'Lincoln' Author Plan William Taft & Teddy Roosevelt Film

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October 31, 2013

Theodore Roosevelt & William Taft

When putting together the presidential biopic Lincoln, director Steven Spielberg had the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin as source material. Now Spielberg and his DreamWorks banner are taking cues from Goodwin again as the studio has announced an adaptation of Goodwin's forthcoming book The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, a chronicle of the two friends turned political opponents Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Read on!

The book arrives November 5th, and a press release from DreamWorks says it "tells the riveting story of two longtime friends who become bitter political opponents. Roosevelt's fighting spirit and impulsive temperament stood in counterpoint to Taft's deliberative, conciliatory disposition. Yet, their opposing qualities proved complementary, allowing them to create a rare camaraderie and productive collaboration until their brutal fight for the presidential nomination in 1912 divided them, their families, their colleagues, and their friends. It split the Republican Party in two, and altered the course of American history."

The official synopsis of the book also explains:

'The Bully Pulpit' is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources. The muckrakers are portrayed through the greatest group of journalists ever assembled at one magazine—Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White—teamed under the mercurial genius of publisher S. S. McClure.

It sounds like there's the making of a great historical drama here, especially since Goowdin has been working on the book for seven years, but don't count on Spielberg directing. It sounds like he's only going to produce this one. But since he's Steven Spielberg, you can bet he'll find someone trustworthy to get behind the camera. And as Goodwin says, "Working with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks on Lincoln seemed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity/ I cannot imagine anything better than the prospect of working with them again, this time to bring Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft to life." We're definitely excited.

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