Roosevelt, Muir, Clio and Me is a straight forward tale about a father daughter team who embark on a quixotic adventure to hunt down a lost journal of President Theodore Roosevelt. Presumably written during his four-day stay with the naturalist and environmental icon John Muir in and around the Yosemite Valley in May of 1903, the journal might actually exist or may be a figment of the Dash's wishful imaginings. Winston Dash is a fifty-something history professor at a Chicago community college and his 20-year old daughter, Clio, is a handful. Both embark on their journey estranged from the other largely because of the death of Winston's wife and Clio's mother. Grief and lost love have changed them both, and an adventure to look for the impossible seemed like a solution to mend their relationship.
The author's original purpose in writing Roosevelt, Muir, Clio and Me was to create a context in which to write about our twentieth-century history, especially the environmental portion of the Progressive Era. This is done through the use of dialogue, with Winston usually playing the teacher and Clio sometimes willingly, sometimes not, acting as his student. Their road trip together in their old family van, allows much of this historical banter to take place. As an early reader of this story explained, "there's history in every chapter and unless you pay attention, you don't even realize it. It's sneaky history!"
David Matthew Wilcox is a professor of history and chair of the Honors College at Houston Community College in Houston, Texas. He received his baccalaureate and master degrees from Iowa State University and attended Rice University for two years, working on a doctorate, before turning to teaching and fatherhood. In his nearly forty years of teaching, he has taught classes in American history, Western Civilization, American diplomatic history and leadership development. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and since 1990 regularly led student and faculty trips to Europe. Although he has published several volumes of historical readings for students, Roosevelt, Muir, Clio and Me: A Novel of Loss and Discovery is his first large-scale work of historical fiction.