Woodrow Wilson and the People

Woodrow Wilson and the People

Woodrow Wilson and the People

Woodrow Wilson and the People

Excerpt

Wilson once told an audience that just as Hercules (1) drew strength from contacts with the earth, so he himself had constantly to go among the people in order to renew his powers. Even a President of Princeton could slip up on his mythology. Nor does the comparison seem too exact, even if one makes the proper substitution of Antaeus for Hercules. What Wilson wanted was interchange, communion in thought and sentiment, with the rank and file of his fellow countrymen. If this book brings him closer to some of them, it will have answered its purpose. It has not been written for possible use by any special group or groups.

What I have tried to do is to show that sustained effort to establish and maintain contact with the people was one of the strongest factors in Wilson's public life. Since, like the rest of us, he was much shaped by some of those who stood closest to him, much of his private life has come in, too. I have tried to show how he was handicapped (selfhandicapped in large degree); how he still managed to win remarkable successes for a time; and why at the end he went down to apparent defeat that seemed the ultimate in tragedy. Since the tragedy was perhaps national and international, as well as personal, its causes are still worth pondering.

The story begins in Alexander Hall at Princeton, and ends in the house on S Street, Washington. In parts it is far from a pleasant tale; but without those parts it would not be comprehensible. If the intention had been to cover our twenty-eighth President's public career it would be sadly incomplete; since many things, important in themselves but not especially relevant to the main theme, have been . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.