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Woodrow Wilson (The American Presidents, #28)
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Woodrow Wilson (The American Presidents #28)

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  167 ratings  ·  21 reviews
A comprehensive account of the rise and fall of one of the major shapers of American foreign policy

On the eve of his inauguration as President, Woodrow Wilson commented, "It would be the irony of fate if my administration had to deal chiefly with foreign affairs." As America was drawn into the Great War in Europe, Wilson used his scholarship, his principles, and the politi
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by Times Books
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Steven Peterson
Many people ask when they found out that I'm a political scientist: "When has a political scientist ever affected politics?" Frankly, there are quite a few who have done so (think Henry Kissinger, for instance). But, above all, there is Woodrow Wilson. He served as President of the American Political Science Association and wrote a series of works that are still viewed as classics in the study of politics and public administration.

This biography, another of those brief looks at presidents in "T
Shawn Thrasher
Excellent short sketch of Woodrow Wilson; not really a biography per se, more of a political sketch of Wilson and his term with some biographical elements. Brands writes masterfully and powerfully. The last chapters in particular engage the reader. I've read -- or attempted to read - some biographies of Woodrow Wilson that were longer and much, much less influential on my thoughts about the president. I thought some of the ideas that Brands expands upon were quite interesting and well done in wh ...more
A survey of the Wilson Presidency for the most part. I would have liked more of an analysis of how domestic Progressivism and the First World War are intertwined. Brands contends it was a shift to the right that occurred but it could be argued that this shift to more centralized control over the the liberties of the people and the economy was a fulfillment of the leftist Progressive agenda. There were only a handful of Progressives who resisted the drift toward war and the "illiberal" war polici ...more
Irving Koppel

Aside from being somewhat sparse on the early years of our 27th president,Mr.Brands has written a very readable,well-annotated work on
the major portions of Wilson's career. He shows how a young man dedicated
to improving his oratorical skills became a much sought-after professor
of Political Science at Princeton University. From that position he became
that university's president. When the state of New Jersey needed a fresh
face for governor, Woodrow was available and electable. In 1912,he went
Gary Schantz
This book is very insightful as it does a nice job of pointing out that despite Wilson's flaws as a man (somewhat narrow-minded and a bit on the overly sensitive), he was intuitive. This is particularly understood by his vision for handling of the end of WWI with his League of Nations idea. At the time, it was viewed as bad plan that would commit America to future wars should Europe or any place else erupt into a dispute. However, this was a simplfied view of his idea that failed to understand t ...more
This book is part of the 'American Presidents' series. To be fair, these books are meant to be short and easy for the general public. The book fulfills this purpose.

However, the book concentrates on two areas of Wilson's time in office. The first is his anti-trust crusade. The second is WWI and his campaign for the League of Nations.

Brands is hampered by this short format from discussing many of the other controveries surrounding Wilson.

If you looking for a high-level overview of Wilson's pres
Jennifer Nelson
I was able to fly through this smoothly written summary of Woodrow Wilson's life. The author in a very even-handed, unbiased way captured the essence of Wilson's life and passions. At the end of the book, though, I was saddened by the fact that Wilson was never to see his vision for the world fulfilled. He envisioned a world full of peace, with all of the world powers setting aside their selfish desires, living in harmony with each other. This is a beautiful vision for the world, and when God ov ...more
This is part of the "American Presidents" series. This is a very useful series for people who want a quick biography of our presidents...some of whom seem lost in the mists of time.

Woodrow Wilson is not one of those forgotten Presidents. As president during World War I, his legacy lasted into the 20th Century.

Each one of these books are short...140 pages of text...and I should have known this wouldn't satisfy my need to learn about Wilson. I learned little that is new to me since I have read qu
H.W. Brands was my professor at Texas and we had to read this book for class and I found it does a good job of portraying not only Wilson but the situations that formed his presidency and legacy
G Hodges
I read this little book in the American Presidents series to see if I wanted to read more about Wilson in the upcoming group read. Reading a book written by Prof. Brands certainly gives the reader an insight into the subject, but I came away a little repulsed by Wilson who seems to have been a fundamentalist ideologue. Arthur Schlesinger wrote the afterward and he says: biography offers an easy education in American history, rendering the past more human, more vivid, more intimate, more accessib ...more
Fred Kohn
Another solid entry in this series. Personally I wish that there hadn't been such emphasis on Wilson's foreign policy which, after all, is fairly well known. But it is what it is.
Alicia Joy
Very well written. The author strikes a good balance in providing information about Wilson's personal life, the history going on outside America and American policy and politics. One of the better bios in this series.
Woodrow Wilson, by H.W. Brands was a very factual book about President Wilson and what he did to help the War effort(WWI). The story takes you through Wilson's childhood, up until his presidency, to his major accomplishments and triumphs. For me, this book was extremely boring and was hard to keep reading. Even though it was factual, it was not exciting and it didn't easily hold my attention. This book was somewhat interesting for me, but it didn't really get my attention. I would recommend this ...more
The book was very lengthy, and at times very hard to comprehend. Although it was very interesting, there was a lot of information not needed. Woodrow was a great president, and this got a lot of the details that I never knew about. Woodrow was one of the best public speaking, and writing presidents. In the small entries from his notebook, I was hooked, and intrigued by his writing form, and how he saw the world. He looked at it from a different perspective all the time. He was probably the most ...more
Wilson was a great president, but had some major flaws. League of Nations, good. His lack of compromising on the League bill in Congress leading to it's rejection, bad. Signed lots of progressive legislation, good. Enabling segregationists bad. This book is very well written and shows Wilson in the best light, only mentioning the bad qualities at the end of the book. Still I recommend it.
Read like a research paper - lots of notes and references at the end of every chapter. Well written and full of information. Wilson was definitely intriguing..
Woodrow may not have been our worst president but after reading this book he may well our most peculiar.
Ryan Henry
proof that the liberal elite/intelectualls should never be left with the most powerful job in the world...
I tried to read this, but it was a struggle. I got halfway through...but that's it.
Geoff Smith
Good for what it is intended for: a brief overview of Wilson's life.
Nice, condensed, and to the point. Just like I like my history.
Kevin Burns
Kevin Burns marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2015
David Addiss
David Addiss marked it as to-read
Sep 04, 2015
Jenny's Book Life
Jenny's Book Life marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2015
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James Mccarty marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2015
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The History Book ...: * #28 (US) WOODROW WILSON (PRESIDENT) 1913 - 1921 108 257 May 28, 2015 08:05PM  
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Henry William Brands was born in Portland, Oregon, where he lived until he went to California for college. He attended Stanford University and studied history and mathematics. After graduating he became a traveling salesman, with a territory that spanned the West from the Pacific to Colorado. His wanderlust diminished after several trips across the Great Basin, and he turned to sales of a differen ...more
More about H.W. Brands...

Other Books in the Series

The American Presidents (1 - 10 of 41 books)
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  • John Adams (The American Presidents, #2)
  • Thomas Jefferson (The American Presidents, #3)
  • James Madison (American Presidents, #4)
  • James Monroe (The American Presidents, #5)
  • John Quincy Adams (The American Presidents, #6)
  • Andrew Jackson (The American Presidents, #7)
  • Martin Van Buren (American Presidents, #8)
  • William Henry Harrison (The American Presidents, #9)
  • John Tyler (The American Presidents, #10)
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