"If I had not spent my year in North Dakota, I would never have become President of the United States," declared Theodore Roosevelt. The future statesman took his first steps toward the highest office in the land in the Dakota Badlands of the 1880s, where he began his transformation from aristocrat to democrat. Roosevelt left his home in the East as Theodore, but he returned as "Teddy," a rugged outdoorsman and soon-to-be hero of the Rough Riders. Recounted with infectious enthusiasm, Roosevelt's tales range from ranching on the open plains to hunting in the mountains. His reminiscences conjure up the vanished world of the frontier, with thrilling accounts of chasing bighorn sheep and horse thieves, encountering Indians, branding cattle, and bronco busting. Roosevelt's recollections helped elevate the cowboy's image from that of an ordinary farm laborer into a figure of nobility and courage. The works of Frederic Remington, another great mythmaker of the Old West, illustrate these memoirs. Sixty-five black-and-white images by this renowned American artist complement Roosevelt's stories of freedom and self-reliance.