Woodrow Wilson: A Biography

Woodrow Wilson: A Biography

John Milton Cooper Jr. / Apr 02, 2020

Woodrow Wilson A Biography The first major biography of America s twenty eighth president in nearly two decades from one of America s foremost Woodrow Wilson scholars A Democrat who reclaimed the White House after sixteen year

  • Title: Woodrow Wilson: A Biography
  • Author: John Milton Cooper Jr.
  • ISBN: 9780307277909
  • Page: 107
  • Format: Paperback
  • The first major biography of America s twenty eighth president in nearly two decades, from one of America s foremost Woodrow Wilson scholars.A Democrat who reclaimed the White House after sixteen years of Republican administrations, Wilson was a transformative president he helped create the regulatory bodies and legislation that prefigured FDR s New Deal and would prove ceThe first major biography of America s twenty eighth president in nearly two decades, from one of America s foremost Woodrow Wilson scholars.A Democrat who reclaimed the White House after sixteen years of Republican administrations, Wilson was a transformative president he helped create the regulatory bodies and legislation that prefigured FDR s New Deal and would prove central to governance through the early twenty first century, including the Federal Reserve system and the Clayton Antitrust Act he guided the nation through World War I and, although his advocacy in favor of joining the League of Nations proved unsuccessful, he nonetheless established a new way of thinking about international relations that would carry America into the United Nations era Yet Wilson also steadfastly resisted progress for civil rights, while his attorney general launched an aggressive attack on civil liberties.Even as he reminds us of the foundational scope of Wilson s domestic policy achievements, John Milton Cooper, Jr reshapes our understanding of the man himself his Wilson is warm and gracious not at all the dour puritan of popular imagination As the president of Princeton, his encounters with the often rancorous battles of academe prepared him for state and national politics Just two years after he was elected governor of New Jersey, Wilson, now a leader in the progressive movement, won the Democratic presidential nomination and went on to defeat Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft in one of the twentieth century s most memorable presidential elections Ever the professor, Wilson relied on the strength of his intellectual convictions and the power of reason to win over the American people.John Milton Cooper, Jr gives us a vigorous, lasting record of Wilson s life and achievements This is a long overdue, revelatory portrait of one of our most important presidents particularly resonant now, as another president seeks to change the way government relates to the people and regulates the economy.

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    About "John Milton Cooper Jr."

      • John Milton Cooper Jr.

        John M Cooper born 1940 is an American historian, author, and educator His specialization is late 19th and early 20th century American Diplomatic History Cooper is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Madison.


    1. This is a well-written, evenly-balanced account of the life of the twenty-eighth president of the United States, the first major biography of Wilson in over two decades. Cooper describes Wilson's childhood and early family life and details his rise through the halls of academia to become the president of Princeton.After winning and losing some major battles in that office, Wilson consented to run for governor of New Jersey on a progressive reform platform. He won the election and, after only two [...]

    2. This was a really fine biography, although I am not sure how much I like Wilson after reading it. I started reading this when I heard some fairly extreme pundits starting to trash Wilson. I realized that while I did not wish to agree with the pundit, I was not as informed about Wilson as I thought I was. I had read the most about his diplomacy, especially his role in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and the his failures around the League of Nations. I was much less aware of his background, his [...]

    3. In his thoroughly-researched biography of Woodrow Wilson, John Milton Cooper, Jr. offers the reader a look into the life and times of a significant man in American history. Wilson not only shaped America and the world in the early 20th century, but also helped to push the parameters of the American political system, both from his academic ivory tower and within the Oval Office. As Cooper explores the nuances in Wilson's life, the reader is treated to a wonderful narrative that rises above partis [...]

    4. Exceptionally interesting information here! Woodrow Wilson is one of those overlooked presidents I believe. He was years ahead of his time and had intrigue while in office. He seems to have been a man with a combination of ingredients that took a small portion of many other presidents. He had a sex life, a conspiracy while in office, he entered a very unpopular war, had ideas far ahead of his time about solving not just US problems but of a united world. Any person who enjoys American history wi [...]

    5. The other day when I sat down to dinner, my friend Jon asked, “How’s the boyfriend?” To a casual listener this would seem like a completely normal way to begin a conversation; to those at the table more familiar with my weird proclivity for naming historical figures in games of “marry, boff, kill,” it would’ve been obvious that he was actually referring to America’s 28th president, Woodrow Wilson. Over the course of the semester, I’ve devoted more time reading this biography than [...]

    6. The NYTimes review made Cooper sound like a professional Wilson booster-apologist, member of one of those scholarly cheering sections, perennially urging reevaluation, which every one of our presidents seems to boast. My taste in presidents, aside from the pivotal empire-builders and empire-savers like Lincoln and FDR, runs more to the con-men (JFK) and the crazies (Nixon) who've noir-ishly helmed the state; I'm also getting interested in the great failures, so I think I'm due for a Wilson biogr [...]

    7. A great history about an unlikely man who became president. I loved all the detail put into this book. It was well researched. Well written and and a very accessible read. A very good biography about this man.

    8. A very well-written biography of the 28th President by the magnificently-named John Milton Cooper. There is certainly a lot to either like or dislike about Wilson, who's probably best known for his failure at the end of his presidency to get the Senate to pass an unrevised version of the Versailles Treaty that would have placed the USA in the League of Nations. Against this, one should keep in mind Wilson's successes in implementing his progressive domestic goals during his first term, but one n [...]

    9. A popular contemporary conception of Woodrow Wilson is that he was a largely successful president whose term ended in failure by his quixotic quest for Senate approval of the Treaty of Versailles and American entry into the League of Nations. He is viewed by some today as an academician and theoretical visionary whose skills as a politician were not particularly strong. There is also the image that he was completely invalided by a stroke suffered in 1919 and that the remainder of his term was ca [...]

    10. bestpresidentialbios/2015/“Woodrow Wilson: A Biography” is John Milton Cooper, Jr.’s 2009 biography of the 28th president. It was the 2010 Pulitzer Finalist in the Biography category. Cooper is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of nearly a dozen books, including “The Warrior and the Priest,” his 1983 comparative biography of Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt.“Woodrow Wilson" is detailed and comprehensive - and clearly the result of significant research [...]

    11. A very nice biography of Woodrow Wilson. He began his adult career as an academic, became President of Princeton University, was elected governor of New Jersey, and--finally--he was elected President of the United States. He was not just an ordinary academic either, but the author of journal articles and books that were--for the time--well reputed. A political scientist who became elected to political office. . . .The book follows him through his life course. It portrays his strengths and his we [...]

    12. Woodrow Wilson: A Biography, a wonderful work of scholarship, is aptly subtitled. Cooper focuses on Wilson's entire life and seems determined to get that story just right. Thus, the author picks no fights in this cautious tale. Mostly, I found that refreshing. Cooper is clearly a fan of Wilson's, but no apologist. Thus, he doesn't minimize Wilson's racial attitudes and fairly places the blame for the WWI Treaty's American failure at Wilson's doorstep.Cooper is much taken with Wilson's oratorical [...]

    13. It is hard to doubt that Cooper's book is now the definitive biography of Wilson: professors from Harvard, Brown, and Yale gave it this accolade in their reviews. These and other critics tended to praise Cooper for disentangling Wilson from the contemporary use and abuse of his legacy; as Cooper puts it, the 28th president "was no Wilsonian, just Woodrow Wilson." Reviewers were also impressed by Cooper's chapters on the ample domestic agenda of a president normally remembered for foreign affairs [...]

    14. This was an excellent, informative, substantial biography, exactly the kind that makes people fans of biographies, written with a sharp focus and engaging style that made me look forward to the sessions when I could spend with it (although circumstances kept me from getting through it as quickly as I might have.) Cooper presents Wilson with a favorable eye, balanced with reasonable assessments of his shortcomings and mistakes. More than most presidents, Wilson continues to be a figure towards wh [...]

    15. Wilson’s legacy has come to the foreground again in the past few years, especially in regards to his legacy on race relations. At Princeton University, there has been discussion to remove his name from their school of Public and International Affairs, as to cease commemorating a terrible racist. It was this new brand of discussion that caused me to look into Cooper’s biography of our 28th President.Cooper’s biography tells the complex story of a complex man with such amazing ability; never [...]

    16. Fans of The West Wing may remember Ainslie Hayes, played by Emily Procter, the Republican lawyer who takes a job in the Counsel’s Office of a Democratic White House. In a bantering argument with Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe), she asks “How many grand theories of international relations did [Woodrow] Wilson come up with that were dead on arrival in Congress?”There was, in fact, only one that mattered. But it was massive President at the end of the First World War, Wilson was a leading figure in dr [...]

    17. Embarrassingly here are the new things I learned from this 600 page book that I’ll likely retain five years hence:• The ex-president used to go by his birth name of Tommy Wilson.• He was a big baseball fan. Obviously before the Houston Astros ruined the sport for many of us.• He almost took his first academic post at the University of Arkansas before they rescinded the offer! (way to go Hogs…or Cardinals or whatever you were called in those days)If anyone’s still with me, the most im [...]

    18. Os 14 pontos de Wilsom"1.º Estabelecimento de tratados de paz. 2.º Livre navegação de todos os oceanos.3.º Supressão de barreiras alfandegárias. 4.º Desarmamento. 5.º Resolução das questões coloniais. 6.º Evacuação e restabelecimento da Bélgica. 8.º Devolução da Alsácia-Lorena à França. 9.º Retificação das fronteiras italianas. 10.º Autonomia dos povos que constituem o Império Austro-Húngaro. 11.º Evacuação e restabelecimento da Roménia,Sérvia e Montenegro. 12.º [...]

    19. Good book. Wilson had a lot of flaws: racist (who wasn't back then?), self-righteous. But he busted his ass and seemed to have, for the most part, a decent moral compass (aside from racism and anti-civil libertarian positions). I liked very much how much he appreciated the need to have ALL Americans involved in the First World War. The idea that only a small number of people would be inconvenienced by the war effort was not his way. His League of Nations was a failure, and that was largely his f [...]

    20. John Milton Cooper Jr. has spent his life exploring the life of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, so it is unsurprising that this full-scale biography is packed with detail and nuance. What is pleasantly surprising is that its scholarship is matched by its readability. Cooper writes very well, very clearly, and his narrative of the beleaguered president's life is compelling and dramatic. I've been lucky recently to read a few presidential biographies that were real page-turners. This happily is ano [...]

    21. Enjoyed reading this well-written biography of the 28th president of the United States, especially with the History Book Club moderators guiding the discussion. Wilson became a real human being to me, with nuances of personality and attitudes brought in, making me want to examine his actions and speeches in a more thoughtful light than the one-dimensional portrait most people get from today’s “sound bite” commentators. This book always comes to my mind now when I try to understand other pr [...]

    22. Wilson is a man of contradictions. A racist who advocated for women's suffrage and arguable opposed Prohibition, a reformer and a devout Presbyterian, an idealist and opportunist in equal measure. This biography clears up a lot about his life.A necessary and very helpful book, about an all-too-human president.

    23. “Wilsonian” is a word that gets thrown around a lot in foreign policy circles, and we are as guilty as anybody. The term—usually derogatory—warns against anyone stumping for policies (especially foreign intervention) based on idealistic notions such as self-determination or human rights. Woodrow Wilson has become something of a cliché: the stuffy, pie-in-the-sky academic-president who thought he could solve all of the world’s problems through high-flown rhetoric and goodwill. Of cours [...]

    24. I've always had an interest in Woodrow Wilson, so when it came time for me to read a biography of him for my Presidential biography project, I knew I wanted something more substantive than a short bio from the Schlesinger's American Presidents series. I also wanted something a little critical and not too heavily fawning since Wilson's racism has popped up in the news lately and I was curious to read more about that.Cooper's exhaustive examination of Wilson's life and career definitely fit the bi [...]

    25. Looking back through historical times and figures should be an essential activity for politicians today. Woodrow (Tommy) Wilson was a complicated, yet straight forward individual. Once the president of Princeton, the Governor of New Jersey, and President of the United States for two terms, and the President that allowed America to go to war. Complicated because of his background and bringing up, but straight forward in his principles. He was unwavering in his desire to form the League of Nations [...]

    26. John Milton Cooper Jr. published his Pulitzer Prize Finalist biography "Woodrow Wilson" in 2009. Milton captures in this book the enigma of Wilson's life, his academic proclivities, social biases, and his genius. Wilson's U.S. Presidency and the events surrounding World War 1 profoundly affected my family's life and to this day influence the world order that Impacts government policy and practice. Wilson held a doctorate, taught government policy at leading educational institutions, and left an [...]

    27. I don't generally write reviews. I am writing here to say only that this is the most biased biography that I have ever encountered. This is not history, but rather indoctrination. Do not read this book.

    28. Cleanly written and engrossing. Acknowledges Wilson's better qualities, but doesn't flinch from pointing out his less desirable aspects. Respectful and fair. Not fawning.

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