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Wilson
     

Wilson

4.2 25
by A. Scott Berg
 

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In the tradition of Truman, John Adams, and Team of Rivals, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning biographer of Charles Lindbergh, Maxwell Perkins, and Samuel Goldwyn sheds new light on a president and his presidency in a way that redefines our understanding of a tide-turning historical moment.

One hundred years after his

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Wilson 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
JBecker55 More than 1 year ago
Wilson is a great biography of one of the least understood of America's presidents. Author A. Scott Berg really did his homework. There are great details of Wilson's life and presidency. Wilson was dedicated to making the world safe for Democracy and Berg does an amazing job chronicling his fight.
KellyKupchnik More than 1 year ago
Wilson is a great book. Very informative. Five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding book. We read so much about FDR, TR and others. This book gave so much history and insight into Wilson. Fascinating read. Highly recommend.
Dreyfusard More than 1 year ago
Fair notice: this is the kind of biography in which one learns more about the architecture of each house in which our 28th President resided than about his writings or political thought. Similarly unexplained is how Wilson managed his impressive legislative victories as governor of New Jersey and than president. Berg's treatment verges at times on hagiography and deprives Wilson's political opponents of any motive other than personal pique. Nonetheless this is a fairly smooth read. Before choosing Berg's Wilson over, say John Milton Cooper's fine The Warrior and the Priest, readers should have a sense of what they want to learn from a political biography.
jmgallen 29 days ago
“Wilson” is a magnificent biography of a prominent, but controversial figure in American history. Mostly known for being the scholarly President who led his country through World War I but then failed to persuade it to enter the League of Nations, this tome reveals a much broader career more and complex man than the public would imagine. Born the son of a Presbyterian minister in Staunton, Virginia in 1856, Wilson began life with both a northern heritage and southern experience. While growing up in Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia he saw firsthand the devastation of War and its aftermath. Although regarding himself as a Southerner for life, he pursued his education at Princeton in New Jersey, Davidson in North Carolina and at the University of Virginia Law School. Not finding the law to his liking, he segued into the academic world at Cornell, Bryn Mawr and, most significantly, his alma mater, Princeton. Focusing on political science and jurisprudence Wilson acquired a reputation that resulted in the offer of the presidency of two major universities before accepting that of Princeton. In that position his vision expanded the scope of the university before a contest with a major donor drove him to run for governor of New Jersey, as he said, “to get out of politics.” His substantial Progressive record during his two years as governor drew the national spotlight and made him a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 1912. Facing a Republican party divided between President Taft and former President Roosevelt, Wilson won an easy victory. Hoping to devote his energies to domestic initiatives, it was his misfortune to preside over an administration confronting great foreign challenges, primarily in Mexico and Europe. His transition from working for peace to preparation for and prosecution of war, while not as statesman like as Franklin Roosevelt’s would later be, was more self-directed than I had realized. His intensive involvement in the peace conference shows less of the impractical professor and more of the principled politician. His battle over the Treaty in the Senate and across the country left him a shrunken figure with the heart, but not the body, to carry on his struggle. Author A. Scott Berg has succeeded in introducing readers to the contrasts of a man of both ideas and action. Berg’s presentation of Wilson is generally favorable without ignoring his shortcomings. Despite their northern and Scottish backgrounds, the Wilsons were family that grafted itself into Southern traditions. A political scientist who admired the British governmental system, he was a rare example of his profession who had the opportunity to put his beliefs into action, both on the domestic and international scenes. Berg skillfully advances a more nuanced view of Wilson than I had previously appreciated. By following a sequence of health problems, Wilson’s stroke is a major event along a continuum rather than a surprising bolt out of the blue. Relationships with his two wives depict a much more romantical spirit than I had seen in other books. Accounts of his negotiations with Congress and at the Peace Conference show a more talented politician than I had envisioned. Berg does not overlook Wilson’s uncompromising devotion to the League of Nations that European powers and Senate Republicans exploited and that, in the end, destroyed both Wilson and the Peace Treaty. I had long viewed Woodrow as an overrated pres
HBarca218 9 months ago
There are only two types of people that should buy this book; those who absolutely love Wilson and those who are using it for research. Beyond that, get it from the library. The casual reader will do themselves a disservice getting this book. Early on in the book the other states a historical inaccuracy. He states that Wilson knows what it was like to live in a defeated nation. Which nation was that? The Confederate State of America was never recognized as a nation. The most it was given was belligerent status. The author would like you to think that Wilson was not a racist, but that is not the case. The author states that Wilson struggled over race his entire life. This was not the case. Not in this book, but in the foreword to the first of Edmund Morris’s trilogy on Roosevelt show just how much of a racist Wilson was with his comments on Roosevelt having dinner with Booker T. Washington. Wilson also did not admit blacks to Princeton when he was President. He also allowed for the southern contingent of his cabinet to re-segregate parts of Washington D.C. He also did not want the black soldiers to work with the French because they would be treated as human beings instead of lesser than by Americans. This does not seem to be a man who struggled with race. The author also likes to say how much of a champion for women’s suffrage Wilson, but that was also not true. Wilson only got behind the nineteenth amendment as a war measure, because they were picketing outside of the White House. Wilson taught at an all-women’s college and could not wait to leave. Not discussed in this book, but he and a daughter had a discussion about this topic concerning their household, since Wilson only had daughters, and how they were not represented. Again, Roosevelt was more the champion for women’s suffrage, as his senior thesis was on this topic, as discussed in a book by Aida Donald. The author’s biased can easily be seen as Mr. Berg is a Princeton graduate and wants to paint Wilson in the best light because of the pride he has for his alma mater. With that, though, his book leaves a lot to be desired from as far as remaining unbiased. A better book on the life of Wilson is by John Milton Cooper. So in conclusion, only buy the book if for research or you love Wilson, because you will be disappointed with this book if you know Wilson’s true character. Pick it up from the library instead, support them as you have already bought the book through them as a better alternative.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I have never really been a Wilson fan as I thought he was pompous and cold. After reading about his life and values he was a principled man who really took the time to think before making decisions. I understand why he made his decisions and in reflection I really think he made the best choices for his knowledge at the time. I feel like I know what he was really about and admire him more for it. He has moved up to become one of the presidents that I admire!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For a one volume biograpphy, a thorough and satsfying treatment. History has not yet determined how it will judge Woodrow Wilson and his legacy of the doomed League of Nations. Did he foresee the future or was he naive? What a pleasure this journey was to be given the tools and means to judge for oneself whether this flawed man had great vision or whether his progressive poiltics were doomed to failure. Too bad we stil have not learned about the hazards of overly zealous partisan politics.
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LoveHistoryVA More than 1 year ago
As we celebrate the centennial of Woodrow Wilson's Presidency, Scott Berg has given us a book that brings to life the man who was Woodrow Wilson. At a pivotal time in American history America emerging as a world power, Berg shows us a Woodrow Wilson fully prepared ro take the reins of leadership and change both the office of the presidency and the poaition of America in the world. You won't be able to put this book down even though it is 800 pages long!.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall a good book. Wilsons prepolitical life was not as colorful as many of our executives, so i felt it took half of a long book to really get interesting (i did not care too much about princetons political climate at the turn of the century). But if you want to learn more about one of the more tragic characyers frok this nation, this is a good read.
DBurn More than 1 year ago
A good biography, well researched, if not overly sympathetic towards Wilson
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read his Lindbergh and Hepburn renditions and was not disappointed with Wilson. I am by no means politically in sinc with Wilson but Berg does portray him as a man of principles, something lacking in todays politiicans.
Nana0505 More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed this book. Learned so much about President Wilson!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A. Scott Berg is a gifted and thoughtful biographer. I generally do not care very much about biographies of men, but this is a rare exception. Get it and enjoy the read. Josef
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The e mail fro B&N said it was a signed copy. Apparently they ran out of those but never said so and sent an unsigned copy. B&N should be more forthcoming