Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson This new biography of our th president is pithy and intelligent it is also hurried As with other titles in the Penguin Lives series the match up of author and subject is inspired Auchincloss the h

  • Title: Woodrow Wilson
  • Author: Louis Auchincloss
  • ISBN: 9780670889044
  • Page: 479
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This new biography of our 28th president is pithy and intelligent it is also hurried As with other titles in the Penguin Lives series, the match up of author and subject is inspired Auchincloss, the highbrow novelist and biographer of such bluebloods as Edith Wharton and Henry James, is perfectly suited to chronicle the exploits of the most academic and idealistic man eThis new biography of our 28th president is pithy and intelligent it is also hurried As with other titles in the Penguin Lives series, the match up of author and subject is inspired Auchincloss, the highbrow novelist and biographer of such bluebloods as Edith Wharton and Henry James, is perfectly suited to chronicle the exploits of the most academic and idealistic man ever to have lived in the White House In 18 breathless pages, Auchincloss covers Wilson s life from birth to his first executive office president of Princeton University It was at Princeton that Wilson caught the eye of Democratic Party bosses, who saw in the bookish professor a man they believed they could manipulate They were wrong As a political candidate, Wilson proved to be fiercely independent as well as a master orator His commanding presence got him elected governor of New Jersey and then, after a fortuitous split in the Republican Party, president of the U.S Auchincloss does a fine job of detailing the successes and failures of the Wilson administration His only real misstep is a crude resort to pop psychology Auchincloss invents something very close to a split personality for the president and makes constant reference throughout to the two Woodrow Wilsons That is only a minor flaw, however, in what is otherwise an engaging, informative introduction to one of our greatest leaders.

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      Published :2019-07-27T08:37:42+00:00

    944 Comment

    • A says:

      This is the only biography I have read of Woodrow Wilson's entire life, however, it is quite obvious to me that this book is an amalgamation of the original work of several other biographers (i.e. August Heckscher). It focuses on seven aspects of Wilson’s life: his dual natures, the three strokes he is believed to have suffered, his admiration of the British parliament system, his deep religious convictions, his emotional dependence on women, his close relationship with Edward M. House and his [...]

    • Sara says:

      ::eyes glazed over::Someone please remind me the next time I get the wild idea to read a book that it doesn't have to be, essentially, a college text book. This is almost like someone's thesis on Woodrow Wilson. What I gathered from what I read - multiple strokes caused the man to eventually develop a "Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde" type personality, he may have cheated on his wife, and (while resting for numerous months after a particularly bad stroke in 1919) Edith Wilson would take him notes about [...]

    • Joe says:

      I was surprised by how little I knew about this significant and fascinating president. Apparently he was widely regarded as a brilliant scholar and as a remarkable orator years before becoming president of Princeton. His election to governor of New Jersey was just a preliminary step to becoming president of the United States. As president he set a number of precedents that we now take for granted including, surprisingly, delivering the “State of the Union” address in person, (previously the [...]

    • Shawn Thrasher says:

      The farther away we get from World War I, the less popular is Woodrow Wilson. Although still ranked in the top 10, the flaws have started to show through, and Auchincloss covers them all in this sketch biography: inflexible, unwilling to compromise, a messiah complex. His quick rise to the presidency still makes for an interesting tale, but the story Auchincloss clearly wants to tell is the battle royale over the League of Nations between Wilson and Henry Cabot Lodge. In an already short book, L [...]

    • Elliot Ratzman says:

      Why is Wilson such an important president? You won’t find the answers reading this short bio. It is written by Louis Auchincloss a noted novelist, but bland stylist if this book is representative. Auchincloss manages to make Wilson politically boring, spiritually empty and intellectually uninteresting. Foes Teddy Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge and Wilson’s longtime right-hand man Edward House seem to stir his interest more. Auchincloss makes much of Wilson’s second wife Edith who seems to ha [...]

    • Heman says:

      It's a very short and well written book. One main argument of the book is that Wilson's flaws of character, perhaps made worse by his prolonged and fatal illness, lead to the US complacency with a vindictive Versailles treaty.His prophecy of a war to follow WWI, when trying to gather support for the League of Nations, is among the best of many of the similar statements made by other observers:"You are [American people] betrayed. You fought for something that you did not get. And the glory of the [...]

    • Tim says:

      Auchincloss obviously does not like Wilson as much as he did Roosevelt. This bio is weighted towards WWI and its aftermath (Henry Cabot Lodge gets far too many pages), ignoring Wilson's domestic achievements and most of his first term in office. I do not think the biographer understood Wilson (what I mean is that he did not work hard enough to understand Wilson), calling him a mystery. There is something tragic in both Wilson and Roosevelt, but as author's like Cooper note, they also created the [...]

    • Jen says:

      An interesting biography. However, the author's strong and cynical writing style makes him by far the main character of this work, rather than Wilson. Working within a limit of around 120 pages means that the author chooses to group the chapters by a focus or theme in Wilson's life, rather than strictly linear. If I had more time, I would have preferred a book able to probe more deeply at the subjects, since without time to enumerate, the books reads more as a series of opinions by the author su [...]

    • Bryan says:

      Louis Auchincloss book Woodrow Wilson is a short and excellent biography. As I read this book and picked up on the common themes of Wilson’s presidency such as he was a moralist, a scholar, and antiestablishment politician. I began to think about Plato’s Republic and his concept of the philosopher king. Woodrow Wilson governed as if he was the philosopher king. The problem is in Plato’s system there is not political infighting. When it came to getting his agenda through Wilson did not have [...]

    • Judy says:

      Very concise biography touching on the highlights of Wilson's life. I was expecting a little more insight or something more moving from the author based on his other books, but I was disappointed. I realize this "Penguin Lives" series is meant to give the reader simply a taste of the subject, possibly encouraging more reading and interest, but the book seemed like a stale rehash of the basic highlights of Pres. Wilson's life.

    • Nate says:

      Auchincloss brings too much of his own political opinions and recent events. Other than that, it was informative and brought up new information about Wilson that I hadn't realized before such as his temper and the multiple strokes he had before the major one that took him out of action in the White House.

    • Peter A.van Tilburg says:

      This is a short biography but it gives an idea of the person of Woodrow Wilson. I think it is rather balanced since it renders insight on the positive character traits and deeds that Wilson has done but it also touches the negative side of the person. That helped me more u derstanding the man in the time period he lived.

    • Kelly says:

      Henry Cabot Lodge was such a hater.

    • John E says:

      Good, brief intro to the life of Wilson. Not a scholarly book, but a well written account by a non-historian of note.

    • Patrick says:

      A pretty good selection of the Penguin Lives series. A good survey of the decisions WIlson made. Very readable.

    • Pete Cochran says:

      I knew it was very short but it was way too short I wanted to know more about his invasions of Mexico, Hatti, and Russia. and His efforts to segregate the South and the USA if any.

    • Graham says:

      Good book and at a 120 pages a very easy and quick read. Check out my site MTL Christian Bookstore at mtlbookstore

    • Bill says:

      A solid short history.

    • Justin Katz says:

      As far as books assigned for classes go, this was one I certainly never would have chosen on my own, but I am glad I read.

    • Gilbert says:

      Good quick read.

    • Robert Christian says:


    • John says:

      This is all Woodrow Wilson's fault.

    • Thomas says:

      A bit shallow. Audio edition is not well read.

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