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Children's LiteraturePresident Thomas Woodrow Wilson was known as a peaceful man in a turbulent time. He was born in Staunton, Virginia in 1856, the son of a minister who taught him strong values and good speaking skills. When Wilson was only five-years-old, the American Civil War broke out between the North and the South. The little boy never forgot his father's church being used as a hospital for the injured soldiers or witnessing the suffering of men. Wilson was a bright boy, but he had difficulty reading that may have been caused by dyslexia. Nevertheless, he loved books and worked hard at his studies. He entered college at the age of sixteen hoping to become a lawyer, but law school bored him. He dropped out and returned home, studying on his own. Although he didn't have a formal law degree, he passed the bar exam and was able to practice law in Georgia. Wilson studied political science and wrote a book called Congressional Government. Wilson is the only president to have earned a Ph.D., which he received at John Hopkins University. He served the country during World War I in Europe in the years 1914-1918. Wilson was opposed to war and tried to keep the United States out, until 1917 when he asked Congress to declare war on Germany. When the war ended, Wilson worked to create the League of Nations, an organization that would settle future disputes. In 1919, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for this work. President Wilson also worked to gain fair laws for the average working person. On March 4, 1913, only a month after taking office, Wilson said before Congress, "the president is a person, not a mere department of the Government." This was a message to Congress that Wilson meant to be a leader andwould pass laws that helped the Untied States become a place for all people striving to make a decent living. Author Green has aptly described to the reader the many assets and good deeds of President Woodrow Wilson. There are many good photographs, a time line, further reading list, and Web sites. Part of the "Profiles of the Presidents" series. 2003, Compass Point Books, Ages 10 up.
— Della A. Yannuzzi