Woodrow Wilson And The Roots Of Modern Liberalism

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.83
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $2.83   
  • New (7) from $33.03   
  • Used (9) from $2.83   


Woodrow Wilson is best known for his service as the twenty-eighth president of the United States and his influence on American foreign policy in the twentieth century and beyond. Yet Wilson is equally important for his influence on how Americans think about their Constitution and principles of government.

Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism highlights Wilson's sharp departure from the traditional principles of American government, most notably the Constitution. Ronald J. Pestritto persuasively argues that Wilson's unfailing criticism places him clearly in line with the Progressives' assault on the original principles of American constitutionalism. Drawing primarily from early writings and speeches that Wilson made during his years as a scholar, Pestritto examines the future president's clear and consistent ideologies that laid the foundation for later actions taken as a public leader.

Engaging and thought-provoking, Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism gets to the heart of Wilson's political ideologies and brings a fresh perspective to the study of American political development.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Daily Standard
In his brilliant new book, Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, Ronald Pestritto painstakingly documents Wilson's debt to Hegel.
— Paul Mirengoff and Scott Johnson
Pestritto offers an interesting read, with Wilson as a parallel to contemporary end of history commentary. Recommended.
What Would the Founders Think?
Ronald J. Pestrito’s book is an in-depth, methodical analysis of Wilson’s political philosophy. This dense, but relatively short 7 chapter volume is opened by placing Wilson in context with historical thinking and the founding of America. In the introduction, Pestrito lays out the foundation for the book. He contrasts the fundamental difference between Wilson’s political philosophy and that of the Founders. This difference stems from the framers’ core belief in inalienable, trans-historical truth and Wilson’s belief in historicism and the adapted tenets of German philosophers, notably Hegel.
Pestritto offers an interesting read, with Wilson as a parallel to contemporary end of history commentary. Recommended.
James R. Stoner
The 'Era of Big Government'—and the idea that the national government ought to be adequate to any task the people ask of it—did not creep up on America unaware. It was a deliberate project, grounded in a critique of the original Constitution, bolstered by a new political science, and guided by a thorough-going confidence in historical progress. With clarity, conviction, and plenty of evidence, R. J. Pestritto shows that, from his early days as a political scientist through his election to the presidency, Woodrow Wilson was consistently a central figure in the development of Progressivism and so of the Liberalism that dominated twentieth-century American public policy and political life. Though Wilson was no philosopher-king, Pestritto explains that our doctor-of-philosophy-president changed how we think about democracy and about America, in ways that ought to be reappraised but have yet to be undone.
James Ceaser
Ronald Pestritto’s book is the deepest and most comprehensive treatment to date of Woodrow Wilson’s political thought. Pestritto has produced a masterful study of the origins of Wilson’s theoretical views, and he has carefully shown the connections between those views and Wilson’s positions on major constitutional and institutional questions. All interested in American political thought will appreciate this important work.
The Daily Standard - Paul Mirengoff and Scott Johnson
In his brilliant new book, Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, Ronald Pestritto painstakingly documents Wilson's debt to Hegel.
John Marini
In a work that cuts against much of the existing scholarship on Wilson, Pestritto shows that Wilson held coherent and consistent political principles throughout his life, and that these principles put Wilson at the heart of the Progressive movement. Pestritto's case relies on an impressive and meticulous study of Wilson's own words—speeches and writings taken from every stage of Wilson's life—which makes this book all the more persuasive.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742515178
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2005
  • Series: American Intellectual Culture Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 807,609
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald J. Pestritto is Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution at Hillsdale College and a research fellow at the Claremont Institute.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: Wilson, the Founding, and Historical Thinking
Chapter 1: Historicism and Wilson's Critique of the Social Compact
Chapter 2: The Modern Democratic State and the New Political Science
Chapter 3: Beyond the Separation of Powers: The New Constitutionalism and the Growth of the American National State
Chapter 4: Congress as Parliament?
Chapter 5: The Presidency, the Parties, and the Judiciary
Chapter 6: Who Governs? Wilson's Leadership Doctrine and the Question of Democracy
Chapter 7: Wilson's Science of Administration
Conclusion: 1912 and Beyond

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:


    An intriguing book that is well worth the money. The book tells the true history of Woodrow Wilson that the text books seem to have forgotten. R.J.Pestritto does a great job on explaining how modern liberal ideologies come straight from Woodrow Wilson himself. R.J. documents the origins of Wilson's views, and explains how "The difference between democracy and socialism is not an essential difference, but only a practical difference," as Wilson put it. Pestritto tells the story of how Wilson subverted the ideas of the Founders and the constitution by a new form of thinking now known as progressivism. In all, the book is a well written scholarly piece of work. I recommend this book for intellectuals and people who love to learn real American history. If you seek the truth on the President who greatly influenced the progresses and liberals of today, then this is the book for you.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    A different view of Woodrow Wilson

    Its a little frightening to see how our Constitution and founding concepts of our republic were considered to be outdated, and that we as a matopm had progressed beyond individual freedom of men (rights of personal property) to a freedom of man to individual rights that actually take personal property from others. I just love it when people think they are smarter and more moral than the rest of us common folk. I guess that's the result in a "higher education" from elite schools!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2010

    Why is this not available for the nook?

    There is a Kindle version, but not a nook version. If I can download this for less than 25 dollars, you've got a sale...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)