Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism

Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism

by Ronald J. Pestritto
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

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.
CHOICE
Pestritto offers an interesting read, with Wilson as a parallel to contemporary end of history commentary. Recommended.
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.
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742515161
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
01/20/2005
Series:
American Intellectual Culture Series
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.62(w) x 9.74(h) x 0.84(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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >