Leaders of Men

Leaders of Men

Leaders of Men

Leaders of Men

Excerpt

A diary in the Woodrow Wilson Collection at the Library of Congress gives the following entry for Tuesday, June 17, 1890:

Commencement address ("Leaders of Men") University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (Staubs Opera House).

The essay named, now first published, was produced in a crucial decade in Wilson's early career. The period opened in 1885, the year of publication of Congressional Government, Wilson's marriage to Ellen Axson, and his appointment to the acuity of Bryn Mawr College. In 1888 he was called to Wesleyan University. In 1889 he published The State, and in 1890 he accepted the chair of jurisprudence and political economy at Princeton. His celebrated sesquicentennial address at Princeton in 1896 rounded out the decade which brought him to national prominence in the academic world. Six years later, on becoming President of Princeton, he took his first step toward the greater stage of the world of action.

These were the visible markers along the road from 1885 to 1896. They represent the normal first steps of any career. There is nothing about them that might fairly be called crucial. What was crucial for Wilson in those years was an inner conflict so well concealed from the world of his daily activity that . . .

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