Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book Review: Wilson by A. Scott Berg

Wilson by A. Scott Berg
Paperback: 832 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade; Reprint edition (September 2, 2014)

When this book was first printed in 2013, the United States quietly marked the 100th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson's presidential inauguration--most were focused on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's tragic passing in 1963.

Berg is a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner.  He spent a decade researching and writing this biography of the nation's 28th President of the United States.

Wilson, who served from 1913-1921, rose from a Southern boyhood as the son of a minister through the ranks of academia and politics before leading the United States into the dawn of a new era.  Wilson's led the nation during World War 1 and would go on to institute many progressive reforms that shaped the country as we know it today.  These reforms would pave the way for the New Deal.  Wilson also laid the foundation of the country's foreign policy for the rest of the century.

Despite all of this, Wilson is one of the least-remembered of the great presidents.  He is often thought of as a rigid, dour figure who failed in bringing the United States into the League of Nations.  The League of Nations was the forerunner to the United Nations.

Wilson suffered a debilitating stroke, leading his wife to act as a de factor president.

In under 1,000 pages, Berg clears away the myths and misconceptions about President Wilson.  What he presents is a book on a man that was a statesman, intellectual, speaker, politician, and an idealist.

With access to hundreds of thousands of documents, including the letters of Wilson's personal physician and one of his daughters, this is easily the definitive biography of President Woodrow Wilson.

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