From rough frontier soldier to capable politician, Alexander Oswald Brodie earned a reputation as a solid, honorable character in American history. Brodie’s most noteworthy claim to fame was his service as a Rough Rider alongside future president Theodore Roosevelt, who considered Brodie a lifelong friend. He later delved into politics, governing Arizona as it transformed from a lawless peripheral territory to the forty-eighth state in the Union. The stories of Brodie’s personal life, from the tragic deaths of his young wife and daughter, to the happiness he found later on, take shape to make this a biography that authentically illustrates how Brodie became the man he was. By interweaving personal history with the greater story of national heritage, biographer Charles Herner crafts a tale that is both relevant and intriguing.
For any historian interested in the evolution of the American West, Brodie’s story will give a personal account of some of the region’s most important episodes. As a young man, Alexander Brodie spent time at various forts throughout the West, responding to the demands of each different region. He later settled in Arizona, which he adopted as his homeland. He initiated the formation of the first cavalry troop that rode with Theodore Roosevelt that became known as the Rough Riders, sparking a beneficial friendship with the future president. Later, as governor of Arizona, Brodie managed the territory’s unruly political system, earning the respect of comrades and opponents.
Teacher and historian Charles Herner describes the life and accomplishments of Alexander Brodie, an intriguing figure whose accomplishments merit a careful study. Herner guides his reader through this man’s life, highlighting not only the most historically noteworthy events, but also those formative moments that shaped Brodie’s character.