The Roughest Riders

The Roughest Riders
The Roughest Riders

The Roughest Riders

The Untold Story of the Black Soldiers in the Spanish-American War
By Jerome Tuccille


304 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket

Cloth, $26.95 (US $26.95) (CA $31.95)

ISBN 9781613730461

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Sep 2015)


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Americans have long heard the story of Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders charging up San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War. But often forgotten in the great swamp of history is that Roosevelt's success was ensured by a dedicated corps of black soldiersâ€â€the so-called Buffalo Soldiersâ€â€who fought by Roosevelt's side during his legendary campaign. Roosevelt admitted that the black troops actually spearheaded the charge, beating him to the top of Kettle Hill ahead of San Juan Hill, but later changed his story, claiming their perfor­mance was due to the superior white officers under whom the black troops served. The Roughest Riders takes a closer look at common historical legend and balances the record. It is the inspiring story of the first African American soldiers to serve during the post-slavery era, first in the West and later in Cuba, when full equality, legally at least, was still a distant dream. They fought heroically and courageously, making Roosevelt's campaign a great success that added to the future president's legend as a great man of words and action. But most of all, they demonstrated their own military prowess, often in the face of incredible discrimination from their fellow soldiers and commanders, and rightfully deserve their own place in American history.


"There are many hidden or, in the case of African American soldiers, intentionally overlooked stories in American history. In The Roughest Riders, Jerome Tuccille offers a welcome corrective with this deeply detailed work." â€â€Scott Martelle, author of The Admiral and the Ambassador and The Madman and the Assassin

"A page-turning adventure. Tuccille captures this timeless picture of struggling soldiers in the tropics. The Roughest Riders examines the 'moral dilemma'of black soldiers in an imperialist war and clears the smoke of decades of misplaced credit and lays the laurels of bravery and honor at the feet of those nearly forgotten Buffalo Soldiers." â€â€Frederik Penn, National Park Ranger

"Tuccille's excellent descriptions give readers a graphic feel for the vicissitudes of jungle warfare and the grim racial and social realities that these men endured." â€â€Publishers Weekly

"The book reflects extensive and detailed research and is written in convincing and readable prose." â€â€True West Magazine

"Using firsthand accounts from soldiers and commanders as well as historical documents and insight, Tuccille's lively writing puts the reader right in the heart of the Cuban battlefields." â€â€Houston Press

"It is a page turner, a clear view of a pivotal piece of America's past." â€â€Maryland Capital Gazette

Author Biography

Jerome Tuccille is the author of more than thirty books, including Hemingway and Gellhorn, Gallo Be Thy Name, and Trump, and has taught at the New School for Social Research in New York City. He passed away in 2017.