In the last decades of the 19th century, America faced monumental challenges: deep divisions separated rich from poor; massive trusts dominated business; political stalemate throttled action; and money bought votes in many political arenas. In this maelstrom, two people rose to prominence: Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Their voices and the legislation their administrations sponsored shaped the United States throughout the Progressive era, bringing the country the foundations of the economic and social welfare structures that endure to this day. Their lives were closely intertwined. They were the best of friends and close collaborators for decades, only to become bitter political rivals in 1912, finally reconciling only months before Roosevelt’s death in 1919. Join us as we read the Pulitzer Prize winning book The Bully Pulpit (Simon & Schuster, 2013) by Doris Kearns Goodwin, a gripping account of the lives of Taft and Roosevelt and the writings of that extraordinary collection of journalists known as the “muckrakers” who exposed the shortcomings of American life and loudly called for reform.