Woodrow Wilson

August Heckscher, Author Scribner Book Company $35 (752p) ISBN 978-0-684-19312-0
This major biography of Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) tracks his family background, his education, his transition from academician to political leader. We're shown his election to the White House in 1912, his legislative reforms, his early foreign-policy challenges in Mexico and Haiti, his superb leadership once America entered WW I, his role at the Paris Peace Conference, his attempt to gain popular support during the quarrel over Senate ratification of the Versailles Treaty, and his pitiful decline in health during his final years in office. Heckscher dismisses the notion that Wilson's wife, Edith, virtually ran the country during the latter period. What sets this well-written biography apart is the author's close attention to Wilson's emotional life (effectively revealed in certain of his letters). Heckscher succeeds in humanizing this rather forbidding man, although Wilson the ``Noble'' remains very much on display throughout--a man who ``fought bravely, but too stubbornly, for high ends.'' Heckscher is former president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Photos. BOMC and History Book Club alternates. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Paperback - 752 pages - 978-0-02-003871-9
Hardcover - 743 pages - 978-0-945707-26-4
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