by August Heckscher

ISBN 978-0-945707-26-4     $37.50

743 pages plus illustrations, notes, bibliography and index.

   Woodrow Wilson - - scholar, reformer, orator, warrior, and peacemaker - - was a prodigious visionary whose successes place him among the great U.S. Presidents, and whose failures leave questions that still haunt the late twentieth century.  A vigorous, attractive leader in his prime, he has come down to posterity as a grim figure, a defeated but uncompromising warrior.  Yet he brought a fresh spirit to American politics as he took our nation irrevocably into the arena of international leadership and responsibility.
   This full-scale biography - - the first in thirty years - - traces with sympathy but penetrating objectivity Wilson's meteoric career.  A president of Princeton University, he ran successfully for the New Jersey governorship.  Two years later Wilson was in the White House.  His domestic accomplishments were followed by his achievement as war leader in the first of this century's general conflicts.  He defined the terms on which World War I ended, and as spokesman for humankind received unprecedented adulation.  Then the public mood darkened.  Wilson's errors of judgment, abetted by failing health, collapsed his hopes for a liberal peace.  Yet today, with the revival of collective security and international law as valid concepts, Wilson's prophetic ideals acquire fresh significance.
   Based on the full corpus of the Wilson papers and letters, much of the material available for the first time, this biography incorporates the most recent historical scholarship; at the same time, it searches with the eye of an artist into Wilson's private life.  Far from being "cold", he was imaginative and sensitive, especially in his rich and complex relationships with women.  Here, too, are sharply etched portraits of the scholars, politicians, statesmen, and world leaders among whom Wilson moved.  Combining intimate biography with enthralling history, Woodrow Wilson creates an image of a man larger than life and yet singularly human, fallible, and now thoroughly comprehensible.

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