COLONEL ROOSEVELT: THEODORE ROOSEVELT GOES TOWAR, 1897-1898, by H. Paul Jeffers (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 311 pages, $27.95).

With the help of diaries, letters, and memoirs written by Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), as well as government archival material and military histories, Jeffers presents the dramatic story of the Spanish-American War of 1898, and shows how the twenty-sixth president was involved in much of the fighting that took place during that conflict. Roosevelt’s leadership of the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry unit that gained fame with its charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba, not only made him a national hero, but also assured his success in politics. Elected governor of New York four months after the war ended, he became president less than three years later.