The List of Will Rogers Books
Here is the complete list of books published by Will Rogers, an American writer, film actor, entertainer, and humorist best known for his performances in several Wild West and Broadway shows, humor, and social commentary.
Loved for his humor and commentary, Rogers achieved popularity by using simple words that many could understand and speaking from his understanding of the minorities. Many of his books attained best-seller status, and his lessons of life, human nature, and wisdom continue to live on to the present day.
Table of Contents
Who Is Will Rogers?
Will Rogers, an American entertainer, film actor, beloved humorist, and writer, was born into a ranching family in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) on November 4, 1879. He was part Cherokee, having been born to parents, Clement Vann Rogers and Mary America Schrimsher Rogers. During his time in Oklahoma, he got to socialize with native Americans and Anglo-American settlers to which he belonged.
Rogers spent his early years on the family ranch as a hard-working cowboy, switching to different schools until he left Oklahoma in his late teens to seek employment. His roping skills and well-honed riding helped him find work in several traveling Wild West shows in the United States and overseas. Having trained from a young age, Rogers grew so talented with the roping tricks that he got listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for throwing three ropes at once. He eventually extended his career by entering the entertainment industry, touring vaudeville circuits, and using his charm and humor to catch attention. Soon enough, he performed in his first Broadway show, The Wall Street Girl, and with more theatrical roles, he impressed producer Flo Ziegfeld, landing him a role in Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic.
Aside from being an entertainer and film actor, Rogers was also a known writer and columnist nationally. He began writing a column for the Saturday Evening Post in 1926, under the heading, “Will Rogers Says.” His columns dealt with current events, contemporary issues, and the integrity of working people, his wisdom and humor resonating with his social and political commentary. To summarize, he wrote over 3,600 newspaper columns, scores of magazine articles, and six books like “The Cowboy Philosopher on Prohibition” and “There’s Not a Bathing Suit in Russia,” many of which became best-sellers.
Rogers died at the age of 55 when he flew to Alaska with aviator Wiley Post on August 15, 1935. The plane crashed near Point Barrow, Alaska, with both of them dying on impact. The sudden death of the beloved celebrity saddened millions across the country. He was initially buried in Lost Angeles, not until his wife, Betty, built a memorial in Claremore, Oklahoma. Roger’s folksy wit, humor, political writings, and visions of humanity continue to live in the world today.
Will Rogers Booklist & Summary
Here is Will Rogers’ list of works along with a short summary:
Will Rogers Books # 1) Rogers-isms, the Cowboy Philosopher on the Peace Conference
Book Summary: This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.
A 5-Star Review: Interesting little booklet. It seem like Mr. Rogers had an easy way of getting to the point with just a few words.
A Critical Review: The problem with topical humor is that when the news changes, the humor fades. So it is with this little book, which was probably scorchingly funny in 1918. Now it so esoteric that it would take a historian to explain most of the jokes.
But Rogers being Rogers, this is still worth a read. He notes, for instance, that you can tell Woodrow Wilson wrote the peace treaty because there are a lot of words. There is not enough paper in the world, he says, for a treaty to hold 80,000 Russian words. And he jokes that the US went into the negotiations saying they wanted nothing and the other nations were glad to give it to them.
Will Rogers Books # 2) The Illiterate Digest
Book Summary: Will Rogers was first an Indian, a cowboy then a national figure. He now is a legend.
Born in 1879 on a large ranch in the Cherokee Nation near what later would become Oologah, Oklahoma, Will Rogers was taught by a freed slave how to use a lasso as a tool to work Texas Longhorn cattle on the family ranch.
During his lifetime, he traveled around the globe three times – meeting people, covering wars, talking about peace and learning everything possible.
He wrote six books. In fact he published more than two million words. He was the first big time radio commentator, was a guest at the White House and his opinions were sought by the leaders of the world.
A 5-Star Review: You have to remember what time this book comes from ( printed in 1924 ) and who wrote it.
As you read, it is as if you go back in time and Will Rogers is sitting on the front porch with you, just swapping yarns and opinions. Not just entertaining, but a good political history of the time, thru the eyes of a level headed highly intelligent man. He has an opinion about everything, just as we all do, but with such a way with words. If you are a Will Rogers fan, you will enjoy this completely.
A Critical Review: This book is not in great condition as advertised. There are pages ripped, it is completely discolored and the binding is falling apart. I would not recommend the best books.
Will Rogers Books # 3) A Will Rogers Treasury : Reflections and Observations
Book Summary: Presents a compendium of the wit and wisdom of American humorist Will Rogers, selected from among the most important of his newspaper columns
A 5-Star Review: This book is a collection of speeches and articles by one of the greatest humorists of all time. The book is divided according to years, and each chapter begins with a summary of the major news events of that year. That helps set Rogers’ comments in context. The comments are funny and insightful, and amazingly still relevant for our own day. If you’re a fan of Will Rogers, this book is a must-have for your library.
Will Rogers Books # 4) The Wit and Wisdom of Will Rogers: An A-to-Z Compendium of Quotes from America’s Best-Loved Humorist
Book Summary: A collection of sayings, organized alphabetically by subject, reveals the wit and wisdom of one of the most beloved figures of his day and features biographical information on Rogers. Original.
A 5-Star Review: Most people today don’t know who Will Rodger’s is today, but he was made by his depression and government humor. His humor is perfect for today. I write about economics and always have a fun friday edition where I try to treat the problems of the week with a bit of humor:
So this is a great source for ideas.
Will Rogers Books # 5) The Autobiography of Will Rogers
Book Summary: In a selection of Rogers’ own words, lassoed together by Day, Will Rogers tells how he became the spokesman and the watchdog for the inarticulate public in a period of dramatic change in American life. A great American, a great democrat, a great internationalist, and not a bad rodeo man, Will’s simple directness spoke to “the big, Honest Majority”, in whom his faith was steady.
A 5-Star Review: I just finished reading it this morning. Yes! Will Rogers did live to tell about things in a way we should all look at things. No wonder he never met a man he didn’t like.
A Critical Review: As Mr. Yagoda points out in his book “Will Rogers: A Biography”, the “Autobiography of Will Rogers” is not a true autobiography. It’s more a collection of Will’s writings that feels hastily put together.
Will Rogers Books # 6) Will Rogers: Wise and Witty Sayings of a Great American Humorist
Book Summary: Hardcover with glossy pictorial dust jacket. 1969 62p. 7.75×4.75×0.45 HOMESPUN HUMOR AND QUICK COMMON SENSE. THE FUNNIEST AND FINEST OF THE MAN WHOSTARTE HIS CAREER AS A TRICK ROPER.
A 5-Star Review: I have admired Will Rogers since I was in the 2nd grade I found his humour to my taste and appreciated his honesty when he spoke. this is not a comprehensive book on him but it makes a good addition to my library
A Critical Review: I THINK I WOULD LOVE IT IF I COULD GET IT. THIS IS NOT WHAT I WAS SENT (ALTHOUGH IT WAS WHAT I ORDERED) THE COMPANY SENT ME “WILL ROGERS & THE ZIEGFIELD FOLLIES”. I AM PRETTY DISGUSTED ABOUT IT! VIRGINIA STEPHENSON
Will Rogers Books # 7) Never Met a Man I Didn’t Like: The Life and Writings of Will Rogers
Book Summary: Will Rogers was America. Part Cherokee Indian and former cowboy, he captivated audiences around the world with sparkling gems of wisdom cloaked in gentle and uproarious country wit and astonishing rope tricks. His colorful life recently inspired a commercially successful and critically acclaimed Broadway musical — winner of 6 Tony Awards. His words are as entertaining, inspiring and revelant today as they ever were.
A simple, plain-spoken man, he was the voice of a nation during the ’20s and ’30s. Movie star, vaudeville headliner, radio commentator, his views and observations were syndicated daily and weekly in over 600 newspapers across the country.
Here is the essential Will Rogers — the story of his remarkable career, from Oklahoma “cowpuncher” to international star . . . and the warm, knowing and hilarious philosophies of the man embodied the heart and soul of the nation.
A 5-Star Review: I am old enough to have met the man I person. That picture is just like I remember him I am 89 years old
A Critical Review: Boring Book! I fell asleep trying to read this thing! It is the perfect remedy for insomnia! I like Will Rogers but I hate this book! Next time I can’t fall asleep I will try again to read this thing.
Will Rogers Books # 8) Will Rogers Speaks: Over 1,000 Timeless Quotations for Public Speakers (and Writers, Politicians, Comedians, Browsers…)
Book Summary: More than two thousand quotes by America’s beloved humorist cover four hundred subjects, including Americans, The World at Large, City Blight, Country Living, Government, Taxes, and more, arranged in alphabetical order. By the coauthors of A Will Rogers Treasury. IP.
A 5-Star Review: If you are looking for just the right book of Will Rogers quotes,look no further than this baby right here.As the jacket says it has over 1,000 quotes from the man who America dearly loved and who repaid them in kind with his quick wit and talent.
The quotes go nicely in alphabetical order…no fuss,no muss.And in case you want a quick look up there is an index with all the headings there.And all quotes are dated.I have read a lot of Rogers quote books, but this is the tops,to me.It is the most comprehensive of them all.
Will Rogers Books # 9) Quotable Will Rogers
Book Summary: “I ain’t gonna to lie to you. Usually when somebody tells you that, it means they are about to lie like a dog. Well, here’s the truth: Joe Carter knows more about the late great Will Rogers than anybody else in the known world and parts of Oklahoma.” Larry Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers, star of the touring production of The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Revue.
Will Rogers captured the hearts of Americans with his thoughtful political humor; his dedication to country, family and friends; and his amazing ability to speak truth to life’s fundamentals. In this delightful new biography, author Joseph Carter covers the details of Rogers’s family history, the many milestones in his professional life, and America’s fascination with this incredible figure. Rogers’s famous quotes and quips are woven throughout the book, making it a thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish.
Learn the fascinating history of Will Rogers, and have his most memorable quotes collected in one place:
“A man learns by two things. One is reading. The other is associating with smarter people.”
“We don’t have to worry about anything. No nation in the history of the world was ever sitting as pretty. If we want anything, all we have to do is go and buy it on credit.”
“We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.”
“Remember, write to your Congressman. Even if he can’t read, write to him.”
“It takes nerve to be a Democrat, but it takes money to be a Republican.”
“Best doctor in the world is the Veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what’s the matter. He’s just got to know. “
“Parades should be classed as a nuisance and participants should be subject to a term in prison. Even the people in them hate them.”
“Ain’t it funny how many hundreds of thousands of soldiers we can recruit with nerve? But we can’t find one politician in a million with backbone.”
A 5-Star Review: An entertaining well written account of a great American’s life. I was born in 1962 and had heard of Will Rogers and of course the quote “I never met a man I didn’t like”. But I had missed the significance of the man. Joseph Carter’s book plainly lays it out much like Will Rogers himself. If I was an English teacher today I would make this book required reading.
A Critical Review: Looked forward to this book as an older publication regarding Will Rogers was no longer available. My comments are not directed toward the contents (which I have yet to review) rather to the readability of its presentation. All of the quotes are printed in difficult to read light red text. Was someone concerned that copies would be made? – not likely. Copyright laws would allow a teacher to copy for education, but would anyone else really care? We could question if this was a “vanity press” edition leading those buying books on-line to review the publisher, too. In summation find a book that print clearly, in easy-to-read color and font. I’m nor seeking return and cost recovery because it’s not worth my time. Look for a better publisher before you buy.
Will Rogers Books # 10) Ether and Me or Just Relax
Book Summary: This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world’s literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.
Will Rogers Books # 11) Seeking & Finding, Holding on / Letting Go: twelve one-dollar poems
Book Summary: This book contains poems about eggs, the DMV, how water moves through plants, and at least nine other things. It is Will Rogers’ first book of poems, written for people who do not think of themselves as “poetry people,” including children. This book is both in-progress and complete, just like everything else.
A 5-Star Review: I adore this little book of poems. It speaks to where I am in life as a twenty-something. My favorite poem being “Tea with Worries” as it really captures the essence of this period in life, wanting to be open to criticism and be a better person while trying not to be overwhelmed with everything that can bombard one’s mind. I’m a twenty-something, but I imagine these poems connecting to the rest of my life in some sense or the other.
Will Rogers Books # 12) The Papers of Will Rogers: The Early Years, November 1879–April 1904
Book Summary: Horses, friends, ragtime music, and steer roping-those were the interests of the youthful Will Rogers as he came of age in the Indian Territory and traveled to the Southern Hemisphere in this first of six definitive volumes of The Papers of Will Rogers.
By separating fact from legend and unveiling new knowledge via extensive archival research, this documentary history represents a unique contribution to Rogers scholarship and to studies of the Cherokee Nation West. Using many previously unpublished letters and photographs-together with introductions, notes, and biographies of his friends and relatives-volume one illuminates Rogers’s complex relationship with his father, his Cherokee heritage, his early education, first encounters with his future wife, Betty Blake, his voyage to Argentina, and his fledging years in Wild West shows and circuses in South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.
Coorespondence, performance reviews, and rare newspaper documents spotlight the singular experiences that shaped the young Rogers within the context of his family, his ethnic background, and historical events. No other book describes so provocatively and authentically the genesis of America’s most beloved and influential humorist.
A 5-Star Review: This book was full of great genealogical information. It was an easy read and actually not boring at all. Would recommend to anyone interested in reading.
Will Rogers Books # 13) Papers of Will Rogers : Wild West and Vaudeville, April 1904-September 1908, Volume Two
Book Summary: The stage career of Will Rogers, one of America’s most influential humorists, began to take shape during the years covered by this documentary history, the second volume in The Papers of Will Rogers.
Between 1904 and 1908, Rogers made the transition from Wild West shows to the vaudeville stage. During these early years, he developed and polished his act, blending his homespun humor with his cowboy skills of roping and horseback riding to the delight of his audience. At the same time he began courting Betty Blake, his future wife. Their on-again, off-again relationship matured as Rogers was realizing his goal of making a career in show business.
Along with Rogers’s personal correspondence, Arthur Frank Wertheim and Barbara Bair present theater programs, performance reviews, and newspaper clippings, all providing detailed snapshots of vaudeville at the beginning of the twentieth century. Much of this material, gleaned from private collections, interviews, and theater-arts collections in New York City and across the country, has never before been published in any form.
A 5-Star Review: I am Cynthia Kay Rhodes author of “Between Two Worlds:The Legend Of Quanah Parker” and up comming children’s book, “Lucille Mulhall:An Athlete Of Her Time.” I wanted to write this review because Will Rogers was a close friend to my second person I chose to write about, Lucille Mulhall. The editors,Arthur Frank Wertheim and Barbara Bair,research is incredible! The two editors are also respectful and knowledgeable of their subject Will Rogers. Will Rogers was a writer and entertainer at the begining of the twentieth centry. He got his start in show business by traveling with wild west shows. Then he was discovered in New York and performed in vauduevill acts of his own. The editors allowed the man himself to tell his story. To me this is the best way for a biography to be written. I loved this book! Sincercerly, Cynthia Kay Rhodes
Will Rogers Books # 14) The Papers of Will Rogers: From Vaudeville to Broadway, September 1908–August 1915
Book Summary: This third volume of The Papers of Will Rogers documents the evolution of Rogers’s vaudeville career as well as the newlywed life of Will and Betty Blake Rogers and the birth of their children. During these years, the Rogerses moved to New York City, and after many years of performing with Buck McKee and horse Teddy, Rogers began a solo act in vaudeville as a talking, roping cowboy. He appeared on the same playbill with such performers as Fred Stone, Eddie Cantor, and Houdini, and his stage career expanded to include an appearance in the Broadway musical comedy “The Wall Street Girl.” Volume Three ends with Rogers’s successful transition from vaudeville to Broadway, on the brink of his breakthrough as a star of the Ziegfeld Follies.
Will Rogers Books # 15) The Papers of Will Rogers: From Broadway to the National Stage September 1915–July 1928
Book Summary: In the early years of his performing career, Will Rogers was a vaudeville performer of limited prominence. Around the age of thirty-five, however, this Oklahoma cowboy philosopher shed his role as local stage entertainer and moved toward fame as a Broadway star and nationally beloved humorist. This documentary history, volume four in the definitive five-volume Papers of Will Rogers, reveals Rogers’s personal and professional transformation during what may have been the most productive period of his diverse career.
Between 1915 and 1928—the years covered by this volume—Rogers developed his unique monologues of topical humor, sampled the relatively new medium of radio, and pursued a career in silent films. He also tried his voice in sound recordings, witnessed his work as a writer reach millions of readers of daily newspapers, became one of the most sought-after speakers on the dinner circuit, and embarked on a three-year tour of the nation’s lecture halls.
In addition to Rogers’s personal correspondence with family members and friends, editors Steven K. Gragert and M. Jane Johansson present more than one hundred letters and telegrams to and from people Rogers touched both inside and outside public life, including prominent figures in politics, show business, literature, industry, government, publishing, and the arts. Much of this material, gleaned from private collections, interviews, manuscripts, and sound recordings, has never before been published.
Will Rogers Books # 16) The Papers of Will Rogers: The Final Years, August 1928–August 1935
Book Summary: This fifth and final volume of The Papers of Will Rogers traces the career of Oklahoma’s beloved entertainer during his most popular years and extends beyond his death in 1935.
By 1928, the Oklahoma humorist and commentator had reached national prominence through his newspaper columns, silent films, sound recordings, books, philanthropic endeavors, and lecture tours. His fame, fortune, and influence, however, had yet to crest. This volume showcases a wide variety of documents, including correspondence with some of the most significant figures of the day, revealing Rogers’s rise to fame as the nation’s leading social and political commentator and as a hugely popular star of radio, stage, and film.
Rogers’s multifaceted career ended abruptly when he and the famous aviator Wylie Post died in an airplane crash in northernmost Alaska. This documentary history of his final years includes transcripts of radio broadcasts, contracts, and business documents, as well as nearly two hundred telegrams and letters to family, friends, and notable public figures—the majority of which have never before been published. It also covers the aftermath of his fatal airplane accident: the certificate of death, a first-person account of his funeral, settlement of his estate, efforts to pay tribute to his memory, and unauthorized attempts to capitalize on his fame.
Will Rogers Books # 17) The Stonking Steps
Book Summary: A children’s fantasy novel about a boy and his quest to find happiness. The author’s high-functioning autism gives this tale a unique perspective, combining humour, adventure and heartfelt emotion.
A 5-Star Review: Will Rogers tells an exciting tale of adventure on his heart-tugging quest. A book for many ages.
With over 3, 600 newspaper columns, magazine articles, and six books, Will Rogers was beloved by many and has been recognized as America’s Cowboy Philosopher. If you love action-packed western fiction, then we encourage you to check out our list of similar western authors here. And if you are looking for a book you can read for free, check out this month’s free read.